“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
Once, I lived a busy, exhausted, and chaotic life.
I hated it.
This didn’t feel like abundant life. It didn’t feel like peace, freedom, or fruitfulness to live this way. I was tired and angry. I was frantic and out of step with God’s spirit. As I prayed and reconnected with Jesus, I realized His plan for a different kind of living.
It was available living.
A strange and beautiful journey began for me when I told God that I was available. I wanted to be available for God to work in my heart; I wanted to be available for Him to use me; I wanted to be available to even myself so I could stay refreshed each day.
By God’s power and leading, I stopped living a scattered, energy-drained life and focused instead on the narrow boundaries of my neighborhood and classrooms. God had supernaturally placed me on my street (Acts 17) and had ordained the boundaries lines of my life (Psalm 16).
What would happen if I limited my activities to the one-mile radius around my home to bless my neighbors?
Me? Limited? What a waste for extroverted, academically qualified me to stay home and make myself available to the neighbors! Wasn’t I supposed to live a glamorous, high-impact kind of life? Did God really want me to stay home as anonymous, unscheduled, and ordinary?
I canceled everything to be available.
No more lunches across town. No more shopping trips or campus projects unrelated to my writing classes. No more weeks filled with mother’s groups or ladies Bible studies. On that first morning of availability, I sat on my couch, waiting in obedience to God. It seemed ridiculous. But a few moments later, the doorbell rang, and a neighbor I hardly knew stood there with two steaming coffee cups in her hand.
“I just got a new haircut and wanted to show someone. I’ve brought us coffee. Are you available?”
“Yes! I’m available!” I shouted with joy.
As I made myself available to the neighbors, it was more than just sitting home and waiting. My husband and I launched a walk-to-school campaign, Saturday pancake breakfasts, fitness groups, and various other gatherings to grow our relationships with our neighbors.
Being available – because of my free schedule – allowed for so many gospel conversations, prayers to receive Christ, and new members in baptized in church. Being available each day meant that I could stop and listen to God’s promptings. He directed my schedule, and my life became a supernatural adventure.
It isn’t glamorous, but it is glorious.
I’m so thankful that God led me to a new kind of available living. What would have to happen in your own life to make space to be available in new ways?
Heather Holleman, PhD, is the author of Seated With Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison. She is a speaker, writer, and college instructor and serves on the staff of Faculty Commons with Cru.
Heather lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their two daughters.
To learn more about Heather, visit her at heatherholleman.com.
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