Have you ever had a day so filled with to-do’s that you didn’t know where to start? Or maybe it was a day that you darted from task to task and at the end of the day, you wondered what you had accomplished or what you had forgotten. Ruth Haley Barton calls this the “bondage of busyness.” She lifts up that many followers of Jesus identify busyness as one of the major distractions from God. As Christians assimilate a culture of busyness and overload, God becomes marginalized. And as God becomes marginalized, we develop a deteriorating relationship with Him, making us even more vulnerable to the culture around us, and the cycle gets even worse (Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership). Maybe you have found that true in your life too.
We miss worship one week because we are too busy that day, and then we miss another, and soon we have filled the time with something else. We skip a time of prayer, or just a moment to sit and be, and fill that time with something else, and then we find that is our new way of being. Time alone or time with God gets squeezed out, and then we wonder why we do not hear from Him or see Him at work around us.
Now before you think I am chastising, take note – pastors are not immune. We (I), fill time with things that look quite good, sound quite good, feel quite good, and are often seen as busy beyond belief. Often, we (I) are even rewarded for such actions. Jesus was aware of how quickly our passions, even those that are quite noble, can wear us out. He taught his disciples, by modeling a life, a rhythm, of work and rest. A life of busyness and rest or contemplation. What resulted was a life that was in tune with God’s leading and prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the day or the moment.
As I reflect, if I want to be truly available for God and used to the fullest, my life cannot be so full of busyness that there is no room or time for Him to re-fill me. If I want to be fully present for my family and friends, then my life cannot be so full of busyness that I am never fully present.
What is your life full of today? What fills your time? Your mind? Your heart? Your life?