Squeeze More God-Time Into Your Day<br/>

Author: Julie Cosgrove
Publisher: Cross Words Press
Published: 2013-07-01
ISBN(s) 978-1-304-18602-7
Language(s): English
Pages: 42 pages
Category: Non-Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Bible Study, Christianity, Art & Creativity Read Excerpt >

Squeeze More God-Time Into Your Day

-The Need

I noticed her across the grapefruits and pears in  the grocery store. It had been ages. I swiveled my wobbly-wheeled cart in her direction, barely missing the display of caramel apple dips. “Jane. Oh, my gosh. How are you?”

She turned to look at me. Her face appeared ten years older than the last time I saw her. Her mouth moved into a quick half-smile, and then fell back into a stony straight line. “Okay, just in a hurry.” She looked at her watch, sighed.  “And you?”, she asked in a dash to the next section of fruit.

I took it as a signal to follow her. As she thumped a watermelon, I peered into her face. “Are you really okay?”

 Her eyes looked up at me through a dull film, not the ones that used to shine with purpose and love of life.  She shrugged. “Just worn out.”

“But,” I shook my head in disbelief. “I thought you’d retired?”
Jane skittered to the other side of the pile. “I did, I think.” My friend huffed into her bobbed, dove-gray locks. “I’ve been so busy with volunteering at the Y, babysitting the grandkids, running Vacation Bible School and moving into a smaller house…I really don’t know.”

I patted her shoulder. “Jane, you look a bit frazzled. I thought retirement was when you slowed down. You know, relax and enjoy life.”

She let out a short, nervous laugh. “I thought that once.”

The amazed silence of my response was her signal to give me a swift wave and zip off to finish her shopping. As she turned her cart, she called back, “We’ll go to lunch and catch up… someday. I’ll have to look at my calendar, though, to see when I can to squeeze you in, but right now I have 6 minutes ‘til I have to pick up my granddaughter, Jenny, from ballet. Bye.”

It came out of her mouth in one hurried sentence. I watched, shell-shocked, as she disappeared around the kiosk to aisle three. My retirement daydream—of basking by a lazy river as I watched the sunset sprinkle the ripples with glister—vanished in a poof.  Would I end up like her—frantic, stressed and in a hurry?

Other people in the supermarket caught me eye. A woman with two kids bouncing around in a cart that looked like a police car. A hunched-over old man watching a demo video. Others were smelling fruit, eying tomatoes, looking over the lettuce. A couple each grabbed items on the shopping list while having a heated debate over what potatoes to buy. A stock boy added broccoli to the bunch as people reached around him for a plastic bag and yanked it from the roll with a grunt.

No one was a smiling. All seemed to scurry like ants with mammoth “to-do” lists tattooed on their minds. Is that how I appear as well?




What a busy world we live in today.


No matter if we are men or women, married or single, modern technology has not eased our chores or carved out more spans of time for us. It’s complicated our lives by filling our days with bleeps and buzzes that require our immediate attention, or so we assume.

Today, response is supposed to be instantaneous. We sigh when we get someone’s voice mail instead of their voice, or they do not reply to our text in fifteen seconds. Our cell phones, tucked into our pocket or locked onto our hips, tether us to the world 24/7/365. Messages spread like a digital virus throughout cyberspace in a span of only  nanoseconds.

Work has become an all day, and most of the night thing. I have friends who set their alarms for 3am so they can take a conference call from Berlin or  Stockholm after going to bed at 11pm when they finished up with the group in Tokyo or Sydney.

The proverb says, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” How true. It is sucking the joy right out of us.  ABC News recently reported:

“Not only are Americans working longer hours than at any time since statistics have been kept, but now they are also working longer than anyone else in the industrialized world. And while workers in other countries have been seeing their hours cut back by legislation focused on preventing work from infringing on private life, Americans have been going in the other direction.”[1]

In fact, across the world, the U.S. is known as the “no vacation nation”. Where as most of the other industrialized countries allow 25-30 days of paid vacation a year for their employees, Americans get an average of 11 days.

If we actually take a vacation, we schedule it to the max. Sleep is for the weak. We come home exhausted, needing a vacation to recover from our vacation. Why bother? Many Americans don’t.

Several surveys in 2011-2012 revealed that 60-70% of Americans do not take all the vacation days allotted them. Why? Three reasons:

  • Fear that the work will be too piled up when they get back.
  • Someone else will try to edge in on their position.
  • They feel it won’t be worth the hassle and the money.[2]

We are always on the go with no time to spare, even at a red light. Many couples arrive at the same event, meeting, party or intramural in separate cars or modes of transportation. And then there are running errands…during lunch, before work, after work.

Women with kids, working couples, and stay-at-home dads sculpt their day around schedules set for sports, music, debate club or scouts. They pick up the dry cleaning between taking little Jessica to gymnastics and Joey to T-ball. Meanwhile, the grandparents are carting Jared to karate before grabbing a few items on the shopping list.

In our society, downtime is a dinosaur concept. Silence is hardly golden. Instead, idleness has become a flashing sign of inactivity and non-productivity. If we are not busy at each and every the moment, we are stagnating, useless or lazy.

What is this doing to us?

Hypertension and indigestion are reaching epidemic proportions in our culture due to poor diet, quickly swallowed food and too much stress, according to recent Center of Disease Control and the Heart Association studies. An estimated 31% of adult Americans had these diseases in March of 2013.[3] Now, we are passing that legacy onto our kids. More and more children are exhibiting these symptom as early as elementary school.

Day after day, night after night, a whirlwind of activity ravages any ounce of peace and quiet away from our lives. Even Sunday, the day of rest, is not exempt from the jam-packed schedules. Church service, Sunday school, and pot-lucks top the list, then a quick dart to a child’s team event and back to church for youth group and adult Bible study before returning home, cooking dinner, and making sure the kids’ homework for Monday is completed. But your hectic Sunday included God in there somewhere, right?

Sure,you know you should spend more time with God. In fact, your inner being is yearning for it. You are starved for a bit more of the Holy in your life. Like the plant named Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, your soul growls, “feed me.”  But, how can you possibly squeeze in any more time in your life for Bible study, prayer or meditation?

You are hardly alone. In a recent interview on Fox News, Billy Graham was asked the one thing he wished he had done differently in his life. He responded that he wished he’d spent more time in meditation and prayer.[4]


Stop the Madness!

Simply put, we have to STOP.  We must re-learn how to back away from our busyness, embrace holy silence, and put a fence around our downtime. It is not an easy thing to do. It’s like swimming upstream against the current of modern society which views idleness as slothfulness. Who can do that?

You can. That’s what this book is all about.



[3] http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dIuWwQAOTo

Squeeze More God-Time Into Your Day   by   Julie Cosgrove   |   See Bio >
We are all too busy these days. Our techno-global society makes us available 24/7. R&R is a dinosaur concept. Yet we were created to rest and relax in God on a regular basis. It is our soul-purpose in life. Discover ways to squeeze God into your day.

Do you have time for God today? If you are like most of us, you are busy from dawn to midnight. Our technology demands we be available 24/7. 

 God patiently taps on our soul’s shoulder, “Hey, I can make it better. Let’s talk. Can you pencil me in?”

 But between work, the kids or grnadkids' activities, errands, chores, volunteering...we barely have time to sleep, much less talk with God. And Sunday as a day of rest -really? Since when?

Discover tips, trials and trimphs from one working mom who learned unique and creative ways to squeeze God into her day more often.


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