I pinned this a while ago – I liked the typography and the punchy-ness of saying Stop.
But since then, I’ve found it coming often to mind. I find myself speaking it under my breath. This, mostly on the days when I’m tempted to play martyr to commitments...
Because that is a temptation to me...the glorification of busy. It starts somewhere deep down, and comes out as two sides of the same coin. I find myself complaining about busy and the commitments and at the same time, feel an inward satisfaction, as if busy is a trophy to show worth or significance.
See? I’m clearly important, because I have places to go and people to see.
A strange acrobatic of the mind, to think that busy equals value, but the thing that keeps me tearing along, saying someday I’ll have time for that.
Perhaps it is simply cowardice that feeds the to-do list...and the fear that people will use the busy equation to judge me. Because that’s true too.
It’s not like she does anything else all day. She works at home – how busy can she be?
When I read this quote below, I had to laugh, because it is so exactly what I need to hear sometimes.
"Is life more worthwhile because there is never time to pick wild blackberries and make a fruit crumble?"
Is it? It stops me when I start to think I’m not busy enough, or I begin to criticize someone else’s choices. Life with spaces to breath in, is not a loser’s life. We should commend those who stroll along, perhaps, instead of assuming they are second rate to us.
Busy is not the be all and end all.
But neither is it bad. Busy isn’t a sin and sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep things simple, the demands on your time come from outside and inspite of yourself.
This is OK. We all know it. You can’t drop out of university. You can’t sell your kids to the gypsies. You can’t say ‘no’ to every favour that is asked of you. You can’t ignore the interests and gifts you have been given and want to develop.
In His providence, God gives seasons of life that are whirlwinds and sometimes it can seem like there is no end in sight. Life certainly isn’t all one big fruit crumble party.
But, as I think about the glorification of busy; and the struggle to slow down, or make time, or prioritize or whatever, there is definitely common ground to be found between every Christian. And this is found in what God has set as good things for us to do. The things that feed us and serve His kingdom. Yeah. Those things that we should never ever ever be too busy for. Like...
-the Lord’s Day: What a super invention.
What other day do you find time to worship for a whole hour? This day! Don’t have time for hospitality? You do today! Couldn’t find a minute to write a note to that person? Lucky you, they are right there in the same room – and you can say God Bless to their face.
Even if everything is flying by you – catch hold of this special day to slow down and get your heart in restful order.
-Quiet time: I went through a phase of disliking this name for Bible reading and prayer, because it sounds like it is for two-year-olds. But then, perhaps that is apt. They need to refocus and get a grip and quiet their minds. So do we.
I’m bad at this. It’s so bad sometimes, that I sit there with an open Bible in front of me and I can’t read, because I know that it will chasten and clear my heart. And I want to muck around in my bad attitude for a while longer, thankyouverymuch.
The Spirit is patient and leads us back to where we should be, through Scripture and prayer. Take advantage of this.
-Service: I know that this can’t always mean we do everything for everyone. We have responsibilities and situations too complicated to tell. But, we are called to bear each other’s burdens, so this is what we should try to make a little time for. Pray. Offer help that you can give. Offer your children’s help. Speak to people. It doesn’t take long to make it clear, that you want to make as much time as you can for them...even if it is precious little.
-Friendship: If you have friends, hold onto them, invest in them. In fellowship, we have a special place to share, trust, and laugh (and eat good food!). As relational beings, I would go so far as to say, we need friendships to grow and mature. Friendships that come easily are a gift, and no mistake.
But in all this – don’t lose sight of the hard cases. Sometimes, with some people, it is tough to speak fellowship; they have different interests, they have different personalities, perhaps different doctrine. However, the Bible calls these people we rub shoulders with, our Brothers and Sisters – and time spent cultivating and working at being a friend is never wasted. So keep going, make a little time for it.
-Children: Maybe it conjures up images of Uncle Arthur story books, but Jesus actually did scold the disciples for chasing children away. And we shouldn’t be guilty of the same thing. Especially when children are perhaps the best of all people at knowing when we aren’t giving all of our attention! Look them in the eye. Be willing to read a story now and then. Give them a hug. Pray a lot.
There is only so much time, it’s true, and we pick and choose and try not to be smug when we’re busier than the next person. Or envious when they apparently have more time to have goof off.
Complicated life, just trying to strike the balance of glorifying God, not our own lifestyle or pace of living. It’s hard – and sometimes I need to take a step back from my wall of sticky notes and say – my worth does not equal what is on my schedule. God is glorified by obedience to what He has commanded. And I need to take a really big breath.