At the church where I pastor we have been doing a series called, “Christ-mess: Clearing the Way for Jesus” for the Advent season. One of the main focuses has been how many times the busyness of the season blocks out what we are really supposed to be celebrating. However, busyness is not just a problem during the Christmas season but an issue in our everyday lives. If you ask many people about their schedules they will say they are too busy but why? Why do we do that to ourselves? I think this happens to us for a variety of reasons.
1. Being busy makes us feel important.
In the midst of our society that at times seems to worship busyness, it can make us feel important if we have a lot of things we need to do. When someone asks what we have going on it can feel good to be able to say, “Well I have to take Jimmy to swim practice at 9:00, then I have to drop things off at the store by 9:30, go pick up Christy from ballet by 10:00, get home by 10:30 because that is when the book club I run starts, then make sure to pick Jimmy up from swim practice and then drop Chris off at soccer practice. Oh yeah then I have to get home to bake cookies for the PTA meeting tonight, pick up Chris from soccer, and then make lunch for all the kids before 1. That doesn’t even count the rest of my day!” We have bought into the lie that if we can fit more into our schedule then we should be doing it.
2. We believe that God’s affection for us is measured by our activity for Him.
The love of being busy has infiltrated our churches in many instances. We as Christians can sometimes believe that the more we do in our church, the more Bible studies we attend, the more Sunday school classes we lead the more God will love us. Now please understand me, I am not saying it is bad for us to be involved in our church, to attend Bible studies, or lead Sunday school classes but if our purpose in doing so is to earn God’s love we will never be satisfied because God’s love is not conditional. God’s love for you is not based on how busy you are for Him. God’s love for you is unconditional and in fact sometimes when we are overly busy it can be difficult for us to hear the whisper of God.
When we seek fulfillment from our busyness instead of our God we put our souls in danger. When our lives are non-stop we end up running on fumes with no room for God to speak into our lives. This idea of busyness is something that I am working through in my own life. I am a husband, a father to my 16-year-old son Roma, my wife and I have a baby girl on the way who is due in March, I am a full-time pastor, and I am a full-time seminary student pursuing my Masters of Divinity degree. As you know in our schedules there are many things we cannot shrug off like feeding our kids, going to work, paying bills, but there is plenty we can so no to.
In our lives it is important that we start practicing the art of saying “no”. It is o.k. when someone asks you to put one more thing on your plate to say, “I will not be able to do that sorry.” When they ask you, “Are you too busy?” You can respond by saying, “No, actually that is why I am saying no, because I don’t want too be busy.”
Don’t put your soul in danger by saying yes to everything, make the choice to leave room for God for God to speak and move in your life.