One day recently I was out shopping and listened to a conversation between the person I was with and an acquaintance we bumped into. Upon being asked how their family is, this friend said that they are busy, busy, busy without missing a beat and listed a few things that are making their lives chaotic. This instance is not unique, as just today another friend started off a text saying that her summer is busy, busy, busy, and I’ve had similar conversations with other people recently and in the past. My schedule can be pretty packed sometimes too, but the beginning of this summer has been a slow, relaxing time for me, and it's gotten me thinking about the things that keep us busy, and why we fill our schedules to the brim.
I think sometimes we glorify the idea of being busy. Like maybe it makes us important, wanted, or accepted. Like we have an important place in this world that cannot be filled by anyone else. Well, in reality all of those things are always true about you. But you don't have to be busy or have lots of commitments or meetings for them to be so. God values you, accepts you as you are, and has created you to fill a role in this earth that no one else can. He creates some people, like pastors, to speak to large numbers of people, and He creates others, like stay-at-home moms to have a huge impact on a smaller number of people. On the flip side, sometimes we stay so busy because we feel like we cannot say no to anyone or anything that comes along. In this instance it takes humility to recognize that running around constantly wears on our souls, and many of these things can go on without us. Saying no does not make you weak; it just means that you recognize your God-given limits. An in actuality, these limits are a gift to us so that we hand things over to God and rely on His unlimited strength.
Being busy can be good, because you may be reaching lots of people for Christ. But have you ever thought about what you might be missing out on? That's what I've been thinking about recently. During the midst of a busy semester, I miss out on some of the richness of my relationship with Christ, due to rushed devotion times and shortened prayers. I miss out on deeper relationships with some friends because I have our coffee dates penciled in to a very particular, and slim spot on my calendar. My mind becomes full of to-dos, and I miss out on some of the peace of Christ. There's nothing inherently wrong with being busy, and certainly some seasons are naturally busier than others. But there is also great value in having time to slow down and dwell on Christ, on your growth, your relationships, and needs around you. Having extra time allows us to bless others as needs arise, rather than in ways that could be scheduled out three weeks in advance.
Will you ever be able to eliminate all of your commitments in such a way that you can spend unlimited time on your devotions and on coffee dates each day? Probably not. But maybe you could carve out a couple hours each week to use mindfully, based on your personal needs for rest and devotion, or the needs of those around you. Being constantly swamped with commitments doesn't make you a better person, but neither does avoiding commitments completely. What I'm suggesting is that you look at the ways you're using your time. Are you allocating it to different people and tasks? Do the ways you spend your time honor God? Do they bring you closer to Him, and give you time to meditate on Him and His Word? Is there anything that keeps you busy that is pulling you away from Christ, due to the people you're around or the stress it causes? Take a look and see if you can change anything about it.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Written by: Emily