Everyone talks about how busy they are--me included. Sure, I may not be the type of person forever griping about how sleep-deprived I am; but I catch myself dropping plenty of 'subtle' hints and references to how busy I am; how packed my schedule is; how many boxes I've ticked. I know, disgusting right?
We may act and talk as if our busyness is something forced upon us, something we'd be all too happy to get rid of; and maybe that's really true in your case. But just as possibly, maybe we don't realize that actually our busyness has unconsciously become something else--something we actually cling to, unconsciously; something much more than the necessary evil we tend to generalize it as.
If being busy is something we can immediately relate to, if it's on our list of top ten most commonly used words (try counting how many times you use that word in a week!), perhaps we need to think about the role busyness is playing in our lives.
Am I busy with worthwhile things? There's a reason why 'busy' and 'fruitful' are two different words. Personally, I have a deep fear that when I stand before God I'll realize that so many of the things I invested my life in actually didn't matter at all. As if a doctor were to spend all his time polishing and arranging his tools and bottles, instead of seeing his patients. Look, Lord, see my perfectly aligned bottles with all the labels on the left side. Don't bother about the people dying outside.
Is busyness becoming an issue of self-esteem? Is being or admitting I'm not as busy as other people making me feel inferior? Am I clinging to my busyness out of pride, or guilt?
I don't know about you, but personally I did struggle with this, as a homeschooler. I found myself feeling guilty that I didn't have a crammed schedule like my friends who were in school. People will think that homeschoolers are slackers! Wait--does that mean I'm actually a slacker? Horrors! I've got to fill this schedule up so other people (and most importantly, myself) won't think I'm a slacker!
Definitely the wrong reason for being busy.
The reverse applies too, and I experienced it after having successfully 'filled up' my schedule. Man, I'm a useful/efficient person; I don't have ten minutes to spare and that's what proves it.
Is the way I am busy different from how an unbeliever is busy? Christians are called to be like Christ (and so, unlike the world) in all aspects of their life. Maybe we need to stop complaining so much about our work, even if all our colleagues are. Maybe we need to work willingly, cheerfully. Maybe we need to work better, without cutting corners. Maybe we need to imagine Christ in our shoes, doing our work.
And the last question which sums it all up:
Is my busyness distracting me from growing in my relationship with God, or is it helping me to? Maybe my busyness has become my reason for neglecting God. I've no time to pray today. Five minutes of Bible reading is going to have to do. God can't expect me to come to prayer meeting when I've got this on tomorrow. I'm too sleep-deprived to stay awake in church but it can't be helped, that assignment had to be finished. I'd better not serve in church, I'm already doing plenty outside. In that case, it's encouraging me in sinful self-dependency/sufficiency, which alienates me from God. It's encouraging me to see God as one compartment in my life, unrelated and in competition to the rest of my life--rather than God as the definition, guideline, and motivation for everything I do.
Or my busyness becomes another reason for me to seek God, because I realize how imperfect I am, how much I need Him, or how weak my love for Him is, and how easily distracted I am from Him. In that case it's teaching me how much I need God in all I do-- drawing me closer to Him, helping me to understand, love, and even serve Him, better.
God calls us to be fruitful people. But He also calls us to be happy people. He calls us to have a heart of peace and joy in our work.
And most importantly, He calls us to be His.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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