I Just Have to Do One More Thing… Busyness and Distraction

I Just Have to Do One More Thing… Busyness and Distraction April 3, 2024

Beautiful Starlit Night photo by the Author
Beautiful Starlit Night photo by the Author

My wife swears she’s going to carve it on my tombstone. “I just have to do one more thing.” I guess she’s heard it a few too many times, but in truth it is how I feel. Have you been there? I have so many things I want to do, likely more than I can accomplish in this one life I have to live or at least that’s how it feels sometimes. How about you? The busyness makes me overwhelmed, and the overwhelmed feelings drive me to distraction. Before long I’ve blown an hour I feel like I don’t have on something mindless, and that just leaves me feeling more overwhelmed.

It’s Not What God Wants

Tonight I was on a Zoom gathering, ironically called the Gathering, as part of a Christian art ministry group called Emerge. Our topic tonight was hearing from God. That topic cut me to the core, and maybe that’s exactly what I needed. We were talking about how to hear from God, and the conviction started to hit. I feel like lately I have been mainly hearing from God through His Word. For the record there is absolutely nothing wrong with hearing from God in His Word, as a matter of fact, it’s probably the most reliable way to live your life knowing God is speaking. It’s great and He has provided for me faithfully. The thing is, I’m pretty sure He wants more from this relationship than, “I read your book,” and the truth is, I do too.

I Miss Him

To be clear, I know He is always with me. I know He promised never to leave nor forsake me,  and for the record, I believe all of that beyond the shadow of a doubt. God meets my needs and provides for me. I always have a sermon to preach to my church, and He gives me wisdom to face situations I could never handle on my own. He is good and faithful to me, but in our meeting tonight, I found myself thinking back to last April when my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at a really nice condo overlooking the ocean. Every night at about 3:00 a.m. I woke up and felt led to go out on the deck, listen to the ocean, look up at the stars in the sky and have the most wonderful times of prayer. He felt so close, and I miss Him.

It’s My Fault

They say when you feel like God is far away, it’s not Him who moved, and I believe that to be true. I can lull myself into a false sense of security saying I’m doing all I do for the Lord, and there is some truth to that, but is everything I’ve taken on really something to which God is calling me? I think that would be something of a stretch. As a matter of fact, I know it is. Some of this is serving God, but some of it is taking things on myself that are out of my control. God never once called me to work myself into an early grave, and I have the distinct impression that if that happens, it’s on me.

Take This Column for Example

One day I was out there on my number one distraction, social media. When I am feeling blocked creatively, frustrated, etc., it has become a little too easy to log on and see what is going on in the world. One day I saw an ad for columnists, and I thought I wonder if they would be interested in a column on creative arts ministry. Turns out they were, because you’re reading this. It excited me, and it still does, but I try to write two columns a week, about 3000 words a week, give or take. Now again I really like doing it, and my prayer is that it helps people with a similar calling and passion to mine, but in signing on, I just committed myself to writing the equivalent of a second sermon each week. Did I need that? 

That’s Just One Example

Because of course, that’s not all the writing I do. I write other pieces for my church, blog posts, letters, articles, even books. I took this column on almost immediately after submitting my first novel manuscript for publication. I expected that to be a long process, but it turns out rejections sometimes come quickly, but this was something that was much better than a rejection. This was a rejection with suggestions on how to make the novel better, complete with reading recommendations. Now it’s all happening at the same time, and the overwhelm stacks up a little more. I have a wonderful hobby that is supposed to be my diversion, but do you know what I did? I decided to turn it into a YouTube channel and gave myself another self-imposed deadline. At times I’m pretty tired, but by now you know my stock response. “I just have to do one more thing.”

Don’t Worry. This Is Not a Pity Party

Here’s the thing. I love everything I’m doing. Everything. It all matters to me and it all feels important, but is it the most important? I’m hoping by now you’re asking yourself the same question. They say smart people learn from their mistakes. That’s absolutely true, but really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes, and I’m kind of hoping you will learn something from mine. 


The answer to busyness and distraction, is to tap the brakes on that one more thing, and start to look at your priorities. I’m a person with responsibilities. How about you? I am a husband with a wonderful wife, who would love to see me more than she does. I have two great sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson whom I love dearly. They are worthy of some of my time too. My father is in a nursing home, and I am determined to not have any regrets with regard to that relationship, and my mom is still with us too. I have siblings and an extended family who I also love and of whom I see far too little. Then I have the privilege of pastoring a wonderful church and an itinerant ministry that provides me with a lot of hope and inspiration. Those are just some of my top priorities. 

Did You Notice Who Was Missing?

All of the people and things mentioned above are a lot of what makes life worth living. Notice, I didn’t even begin to touch on my “side projects” and I already have a really full life. More importantly, there’s someone really important, who wasn’t mentioned. He’s the One who is supposed to be first. No wonder I miss Him. Now in truth, I moved Him to the end of this to make my point, and I am pleased to say he occupies a much larger part of my life than that, but still. I’d be lying to you and myself if I said He occupies the top spot He deserves all the time. How are you doing with that?

Who Is Applying the Pressure?

Here’s a hint. It’s not God. It’s me. Most weeks, as a pastor, I have one deadline. There is a service every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Other than that, most of the pressures I feel in my life are self-imposed. There are times where I still feel like I am trying to earn something He has given for free. I also spend a lot of time trying to make things happen and most of the time, those things are in God’s hands, not mine. There’s a name for that, It’s called foolishness. Instead of foolishness, we need to try faithfulness, which is simply doing the things God has called and gifted us to do and trusting Him with everything else. 

The One Who Began it Will Complete It

In Philippians 1:6, Paul gives us the answer to all of this when he writes, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” That one little verse says so much. For example, Who began this good work God has called you to? It’s simple. God began it in you. And who will bring it to completion in the day of Christ Jesus? The One who began it. In the words, God started it in you and God will finish it. Your responsibility is not to finish it, or make it to succeed. Your job is simply to do your best to be faithful with whatever it is, for as long as it is in your hands. Everything else is up to God.  

The Pressure Is Off   

When you feel God leading you into something, give it your best and trust Him with the rest. For me this looks like, realizing it doesn’t all depend on me. I need to spend time with my heavenly Father. He is the source of my strength and apart from Him I can do nothing. I may need to lay aside some good things to focus on the God things, and unless I’m misreading it, you might need to do that too. He began this thing in you and He can finish it! He’s invited you to join Him on the journey. Maybe it’s time we stopped fretting and enjoyed the ride.  

About Dave Weiss
Dave Weiss is a pastor and a traveling speaker. He has written and/or illustrated many self-published books and has his MDIV and DMIN, both with a concentration in Creative Arts Ministry. He is married to his wife Dawn and has two adult sons and a grandson named David. You can see more about his ministry at AMOKArts.com You can read more about the author here.

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