C.S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters of Satan’s strategies to lure us away from God. From his work, other places, and our own experiences, we know that Satan uses division, fear, self-pity, pride, greed, lust, and discouragement, to name a few. If we’re truthful, we’ve all experienced these things. There’s an additional strategy of Satan’s that I just experienced the last week of July…that is busyness.

Working in the Conference Office at Franciscan University of Steubenville (www.steubenvilleconferences.com), it’s again been an incredibly busy summer. The last 8 days of July had 5 from our team in Southern California for our youth conference, Steubenville San Diego, in addition to (Acts) 2:42, a young adult conference.

Too Busy to Pray

I’ve worked many long hours in my life, especially back when I was praying to the god of money. That week though was intense. Prepping for the weekend conference, we worked Monday through Thursday, 7AMish to midnight every day. Friday came and even with starting the morning very early, I was up till 4AM. Having to get up Saturday morning at 5:30AM and not getting to bed until after 2AM made for another incredibly long day. On Sunday and Monday, we had the evenings off, but still worked full days.

Although gratifying, given the many blessings of the weekend experienced by the teens and young adults, it was exhausting. And given how incredibly busy I (we) was, my prayer life diminished to nothing that week. I still went to Mass daily, a practice I started last summer. But I failed miserably at spending any quiet time with the Lord or saying my rote prayers.

Prayer is a Struggle

I don’t know anyone on this journey who doesn’t struggle with prayer. Although the same is true for me, every day I get in my rote prayers, in addition to spending some quiet time with Jesus. During those eight long, very busy, exhausting days, I not only didn’t get any prayer time in, but I didn’t even think about it until on the flight back home.

The most important relationship I have is with Jesus and it was massively interrupted given the busyness of my life. Satan won that battle for those 8 days.

For the longest time, my life was about the pace….when I was praying to the god of money, as indicated above. Now, it’s all about the peace. I’m not interested in running from one thing to another, always chasing what’s next and being exhausted. I want peace and balance in my life.

What Prayer Does for Me

I pray to show God gratitude and to adore Him, but I also pray for what it does for me. It’s been a very positive thing in my life. Although not perfect at it, I do it daily. Continuing to struggle with it, it is always a meaningful part of my day. Prayer helps me be my best.

How busy are you? What are you busy doing? What is your busyness keeping you from? As indicated above, Satan uses division, fear, self-pity, pride, greed, lust, and discouragement. He also uses busyness to distract us from the most important thing in our lives…God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can’t address a problem unless you know it exists. Know of the above and try to slow things down. Spend time with God and live in a place of peace, which is way better than the pace so many of us are so used to.

As always, please get to me with questions or comments at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

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