It has taken me a long time, but I have established a new value in my journey of transformation. “I am just so busy” will no longer be an admirable statement for me. Being busy has too often been a way for me to feel fulfilled and validated in life. I am done with it.
I am no longer impressed with busyness or constant doing. But it took me quite a while to come to that realization.
Society has come to admire those who state “I am so busy.” People wear it as a badge of honor, almost as a martyr’s trophy to display. It can become our fall back saying in social settings. “What have you been up to? Who me? Busy.”
Packed days, overtime, 80-90 hour work weeks, collapsing into bed, living exhausted, worn out and weary seem to all be norms for the everyday person, including Christians. Families are busier than ever. Parents feel a sense of fulfillment by all the programs they involve themselves in.
While there is a great deal of activity, there can often be very little meaningful interaction. Why? Because we have no time! Really? Is this lifestyle to be admired?
The number one thing people say when they come up to me is, “I know you are incredibly busy, but…” Having a full life is one thing, but chronic, stressed out busyness with no space, little margin and little emotional health? Who needs this?
Busy Church Does Not Equal Healthy Church
Pastors and church leaders can get caught into the whirlwind of constant activity. Churches can become conditioned to being overloaded with activity, without any sense of purpose or relational intention. We figure if we just keep busy, something good will come out of it.
The Lie of Admiring Busyness
Why do we admire busyness so much in others? Take a moment to think about this. Is it hard to fill our day with a bunch of activities that give us the feeling that we are being productive?
Parkinson’s Law would tell us, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, whenever you set out to do something, there will be plenty of things that will fill in that time. We all experience it. “I wish I just had more time today.”
It is really not that hard to be busy. Yet we seem to admire it like it is a height of achievement.
In fact, when I am super busy, I often find it is because I have been lazy in managing the pace of my life.
Some say, “I’ve gotta stay busy, it keeps me out of trouble.” Does it keep you out of trouble, or does busyness teach you how to avoid the issues of the heart that need to be addressed?
Could it be that our life of busyness is simply a way to keep others from seeing our deep pain?