Catching Up

24 01 2013

It has been a busy couple of weeks and yet a very satisfying time for us.  We were able to spend the Christmas holidays with our adult children back in the USA – it has been 3 years since all 6 of us were together for Christmas.

After spending a week full of family fun and celebrating together, we went our separate ways, with Debbie & I back onto the airplane for the long trip back to Hong Kong.

Chute Family - Christmas 2012

Chute Family – Christmas 2012

These past couple of weeks since returning to Hong Kong has been a time to get caught up on all sorts of school & ministry-related details. And in the midst of all this ‘busyness’, we have been trying not to get too stressed out on all that needs to be done in what seems like an ever-decreasing amount of time.  I have found myself thinking & saying things like, “If I can just get through this month, then things will slow down.”

Have you felt like that? Too much to do, and not enough time to get it done – or so it seems.

This was when I came across a devotional written by David Henderson in a magazine called Discipleship Journal several years ago entitled “Is There Enough Time?”.

In our world today it seems that everyone is busy, and technology renders us accessible at all times. David Henderson wrote that: “Has God given us enough time? No, not if through our busyness we’re trying to find significance, fill boredom, cover pain, gain acceptance, or safeguard our futures (or those of our children). However, there’s all the time in the world for us to do those things to which God calls us. Time to pray, to enjoy God, to sleep, to further the kingdom.I'm Too Busy

Hong Kong has a reputation for its fast-paced lifestyle, and it is all too easy to allow oneself to walk and work just as fast and hard as everyone else. I think that where we (and maybe it’s just me) get ourselves into trouble is when we allow the pace of life to not only affect our calendars, but also change our life with God.

You may have heard the story told of the tourist visiting Africa many years ago who wanted to see it all.  He hired local people to carry his supplies from place to place. On their first morning of their expedition, they started early and went to as many places as they could until the sun went down, and they set up camp for the evening. The second and the third day of the expedition were much the same – long days filled with as much as possible. Much to the consternation and amazement of the tourist, the local hired help refused to move on the fourth morning.  Instead, they sat and rested under the shade of tree late into the morning.  When pushed to explain their behavior, the tourist’s translator simply said, “They’re waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.” 1

While we still haven’t finished getting caught up on all the school & ministry related work we wanted to get done by now, I would rather that my soul is at rest, and my heart in tune with God.  Whatever your schedule looks like today – make the time to allow your soul to catch up with your body.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

Until next time,

Joel & Debbie
1Terry Hershey, Sacred Necessities: Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose, and Grace, 68-69.


We heard early this week from Debbie’s brother that her dad was taken to the hospital (January 20th) after having what appeared to be a seizure.  He was kept overnight at the hospital and test results taken were inconclusive – Debbie’s brother told us they were hoping to arrange a CT scan as well as a consult with a neurologist.  PRAY with us that God would provide a doctor/specialist who would be able to zero in on the core issue and help give us a diagnosis on the root cause of his recent health problems.

Joel continues to work with church leaders in south central China as they oversee the construction of a county seat church.  This county has 680,000 residents – and this will be the very first church built in this area.  They hope to have the outer structure of this new church completed before the start of Chinese New Year (February 10th) – PRAY with us that the completion of this new church building would encourage believers to share the Gospel in meaningful ways with their unsaved friends, family members and neighbors.