This morning, Dr. Owen had a significant warning for me. If I have a dangerous addiction (besides coffee and chocolate), it is addiction to busyness. I love to be busy. Often too busy.
But busyness, and the weariness that can come with it, all too often provides an opening for temptation in my heart. Exactly as the good Doctor says:
The deceitfulness of sin makes use of corrupt reasonings, taken from the pressing and urging occasions of life. ... Men have not leisure to glorify God and save their own souls. It is certain that God gives us time enough for all that he requires of us in any kind in this world. No duties need to jostle one another, I mean constantly. Special occasions must be determined according to special circumstances.
So, the good Doctor argues, that if in general we don't have time for all of our duties then we are in the wrong. My wife and I have frequently expressed our surprise that God put only 24 hours in a day. "What was he thinking?" has been my frequent refrain. And only 7 days in the week?!
Owen's next statement brought the surgeon's scalpel deep:
But if in anything we take more upon us than we have time well to perform it in, without robbing God of that which is due to him and our own souls, this God calls us not unto, this he blesses us not in. It is more tolerable that our duties of holiness and regard to God should entrench upon the duties of our callings and employments in this world than on the contrary; and yet neither does God require this at our hands, in an ordinary manner or course. (Overcoming Sin and Temptation, p 312)
Ouch. A good pain, a healing pain.
And so sin tempts us away from the "duties of holiness" --- daily reading of Scripture, prayer, meditation, memorization, etc. --- which are so effective at combating sin, and weakens us for further temptation.
May God grant us the courage and humility (and time!) to review our schedules with these points firmly in mind.