The other day when scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across a post from a friend and it wrote “thank God you’re busy. Many people wish they had something to do.” I sat staring at my computer screen for what felt like hours, baffled. Is this really what the world has come to? A desire for busyness? For what? To prove worth, importance? Have we started valuing our worth by how busy we are, how little time we have for others?
Many of us fall into the trap that to be busy is a good thing. It means you’re doing something with your time, making something of yourself and not falling into the issue of idleness. Webster’s Dictionary describes it as: “to lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.”
In Matthew 12:36, it means empty and fruitless. The “idle word” which Christ condemns, is a word morally useless and evil.
All in all, to be idle, many of us know is a bad thing. But the opposite doesn’t prove any better.
With an influence by Professor Bruce Hindmarsh it is clear that busyness is moral laziness. God has given us just enough time, every moment is a sacrament — these are massively important truths we need to soak in.
We are a performance-driven people, which means we are busy people. 15 hours — 2 hour of commute (to and fro), 2 for eating (sometimes skipping meals), 9 for work (school work included), 2 for Netflix (we’re all guilty of it), brushing our teeth in the car. We barely have time to pause and observe our surroundings, or acknowledge our Creator.
And God-forbid we aren’t busy. There’s then the fear that people see us as a failure. You’re not busy? You must be lazy. A nobody. We wouldn’t say it, but we behave that way, someone takes a year off school – a lazy nobody (I never directly heard that but I felt it on my break from school).
If you question where you stand answer this, have you ever taken out your phone and roamed through it in a waiting room or on the bus just to look like you’re busy? To be bored was once an inconvenience — now it’s treated like cancer: something to be treated with busyness. Some go as far as to fake a phone conversation.
We must take Jesus as our example. He was a very busy man with a God given plan. Fast-paced Jesus. Early-in-the-morning Jesus. Carpenter Jesus. Busy man, working man, preaching man, leading man. The difference lies in the fact that his busyness was in his spiritual life – he never let the mundane nature of the world entangle or keep him too busy.
Jesus takes a pause, he isn’t concerned about his busy schedule and tight deadlines on many occasions. Take his interaction with a blind man for example, “as he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth” (John 9:1). Day after day, the man sits and begs (John 9:8) — a man without a schedule, without plans… He’s not busy. Jesus did not judge this man who spent his days without a schedule but he helped, given his own schedule – he paused.
It might appear we aren’t sure how it is we relate to a needy blind man with nothing to do but we are him – we’re blind. We are born into work. Blind to the schedule we are beholden to.
I urge us all to PAUSE and revamp our TO-DO list, to change our busy bee nature into busy knees – finding ways to WORSHIP. Even if we were to get rid of all requirements for a long period of time and spend our days worshipping we’d still be far from an idle life.
- Before you open your eyes in the morning, seek God’s face and bask in his presence. “Awake, my soul. Turn my eyes, Lord, from things that are unworthy.”
- Before you climb out of bed and let your feet hit the floor, confess your sins and weaknesses and mentally lean on him. “Carry me, Lord, so I can accomplish your goals.”
- As you get dressed, beg God to cover your unworthiness with Christ’s righteousness. “Lord, clothe me with your armor, because I need your power and protection for the dark parts of this day.”
- Before you gaze into a mirror or look at any screen (phone included), pray that he will “Show me your glory and goodness. That I will see it. And that I will reflect it.”
- As you sip your morning coffee or fill your belly, ask him to fill you with his Spirit and the joy of your salvation. “That I would taste and see that you are good. That you would hunger and thirst for him.”
- As the world and the day get louder and louder, remember to stop and listen for the Spirit over the noise. Learn to recognize him. “Let me hear your Lord.”
- When you find yourself growing weary, run to God. Not to the world for a distraction, but to him. “Let me run to you instead of work when I feel weary.”
- Don’t let a single hour go by without asking God to sustain you. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now. Set an alarm if you have to until it starts to come more naturally. Like breathing.
- As you climb into bed, look back and identify God’s providence.
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28
Be still, your soul
This week’s song is Never Too Busy by Bryon Cage