Author Alli Worthington Tells Us How To "Break Busy" And Discover God's Purpose
HAVING EVERYTHING, THEN LOSING IT ALL
The Worthington family thought they had finally “made it.” They had a beautiful home, nice cars, and all the material markers of a successful American family. However, they had very little savings and lots of debt. When Alli’s husband Mark unexpectedly lost his high paying job, the family had no money to fall back on. They were forced to foreclose on their home and eventually went bankrupt. Since they had to downsize and live with relatives, they gave all of their belongings to Goodwill or friends. They soon learned that the material things they loved so much weren’t the most important things in life. Alli said, “We lost our possessions, our treasures, things we had strived for and placed so much value in, only to discover they had no value at all.” Over the next few weeks, Mark and Alli prayed together often. She says God showed them where they had gotten “off track.” She said, “We were worshipping the false idols of success and money, and we had forgotten where our hope came from.” Together they learned an important lesson that is given in Matthew 6:19-21:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves dono break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Mark and Alli asked God to forgive them for their pride and greed. They wanted to give their lives completely over to him, and they wanted to truly put him first.
Over the years they have been able to rebuild their financial lives. However, this time, they made a point to seek God’s will first. They learned to make better financial decisions and started prioritizing the important things. Alli said, “ In His loving mercy, God showed me the beauty in the ashes of my life. He allowed me to see it was not the things I strived for that gave me real peace, purpose and happiness, but the relationships I had with those I loved.”They learned to prioritize relationships- first with God, then with their spouse, and finally, with friends.”
Alli says there are several areas where we can “Break Busy,” or break the habits that keep our lives full of unnessecary busyness.
Capacity: Just as our phones have a certain capacity, we each have a unique capacity level. Our capacity depends on our personality, experiences, and seasons of life. People and events are constantly draining us, and we must recharge and off-load our excess or risk shutting down altogether.
The following are signs of exceeding your capacity:
- Inability to control your emotions for example, snapping at the people you love,
- Lack of self care- not eating right, working out, or taking care of personal health or appearance.
- Chronic lateness
- Self medicating and excessiveness (any additiction- alcohol, food, etc)
- Neglecting important relationships
- Neglecting God
Decisions: You waste a lot of time when you don’t make timely decisions. The “analysis of paralysis” will keep you from moving forward, causing you to move in circles and waste time. There are 5 F’s that will help you make decisions well.
- Faith: Look toward God and scripture to guide you. Sometimes, God’s will isn’t crystal clear, but make sure that your decisions are in line with God’s word and your faith.
- Family: Always ask how the decision will affect your family
- Future: What is your goal in the situation? Does the decision seem to be leading you to who you want to become and how you want to grow as a person?
- Fulfillment: Does the decision help make you fulfilled? Do they line up with your purpose and calling?
- Friends: Wise counsel from close friends can be very helpful in decision-making.
Calling: Alli says our calling is God given. This means you do not have to “strive endlessly to be good enough or work hard enough to find God’s plan for you.” Staying focused on God keeps us aimed toward our destiny. You can find your calling by asking the following questions:
- What activities have you loved since childhood?
- What tugs at your heart?
- If money were no object, what would you do for free?
- What energizes you?
- What is something everyone says you are good at?
Editing: Editing helps with balance because “some parts of our lives are carved out, trimmed away, or rearranged to make room for better ones.” Editing helps because if we don’t edit, we end up with too much on our plates! The catalyst for editing can come from us or it can come from God. We can make edits in our life by being proactive instead of reactive about discovering the areas in life that aren’t fruitful, looking at where God might be calling you, and examining what might be hindering you.