My good friend, Joanne at Blessed, often writes about how to be free from the "captivity of activity". She and her family of 6 literally took a sabbatical from all extra-curricular activities for a year. Look for her book in the future!
In today's devotion from author Henry Blackaby, we see how our activities should be used to draw us closer to God. If activities are interfering with our relationship with Him, we are in bondage to them and must break free. Sports, hobbies, music lessons, etc. can be excellent ways to develop the gifts He's given us.
As long as they don't become our idols.
"You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself." Exodus 19:4
God did not deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt so that they could enjoy the Promised Land. He freed them so they could come to know and worship Him. Three months after they left Egypt, God reminded His people why He had delivered them "on eagles' wings." It was to bring the people to Himself. That is, God saved them so that they could enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. The Israelites had been slaves with no freedom to worship God. Now, with their own land, they could come to know and serve God freely. God's call was not to destroy the idolatrous nations in Canaan, not to settle the lands they conquered, and not to establish a new nation, although all of these would be accomplished. Rather, God called them primarily to be a people who loved and worshiped Him. Through God's act of deliverance they came to know Him as an almighty and compassionate God, and they were now free to respond to Him.
We are so activity oriented that we assume we were saved for a task we are to perform rather than for a relationship to enjoy. God uses our activities and circumstances to bring us to Himself. When He gives us a God-sized assignment, its sheer impossibility brings us back to Him for His enabling. When God allows us to go through crises, it brings us closer to Him.
If we are not careful, we can inadvertently bypass the relationship in order to get on with the activity. When you are busy in your activity for God, remember that God leads you to the experiences in order to bring you to Himself.
At this time of year, our activity level seems to grow exponentially. Sometimes, we need to "just say no." And not feel guilty!! But, if you say yes, Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58