Who isn’t busy?
From work deadlines, projects at home, the kid’s soccer practice, and everything in between—busyness is a concept all people can relate with. A busy Mom at my church once described her life as “something between a perpetual summer camp and a three-ring circus”—perhaps you can relate!
And yet there is a great danger lurking in living a life filled to the brim with “many things.” Pastor and Author Kevin DeYoung expounds on this when he writes:
“As Christians, our lives should be marked by joy, taste like joy, and be filled with the fullness of joy. Busyness attacks all of that. One study found that commuters experience greater levels of stress than fighter pilots and riot police… When our lives are frantic and frenzied, we are prone to anxiety, resentment, impatience, and irritability all the while neglecting God… Busyness has killed more Christians than bullets.“
So here is the question: is it wrong to be busy? After all, Jesus Himself was busy going from town to town, healing people and preaching the gospel. The Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians in 2 Thess. 3 that he toiled “day and night” for the sake of the gospel. In many respects, God calls us to be busy with Him as He works in the world.
The Bible, however, never advocates for the kind of busyness that is always looking ahead at the “next” thing, causing one to miss out on enjoying God’s presence in the moment. Here is how I would define it: Busyness (the kind that hinders us from knowing Jesus more deeply) is the habit of running toward “the next” while missing God in “the now.”
This is precisely the danger of busyness. We become so concentrated about what’s coming next that we miss God in the now. Adele Calhoun reflects on this danger in her Spiritual Disciplines Handbook when she writes,
“We can get so busy doing urgent things and so preoccupied with what comes next that we don’t experience the now. Afraid of being late, we rush from the past to the future. The present moment becomes a crack between what we did and what we have yet to do. It is virtually lost to us. We don’t get to our futures any faster if we hurry. And we certainly don’t become better people in haste. More likely than not, the faster we go the less we become.”
The danger of this is that we live a life so full of “do” that there is never any time to “be” with Jesus. So here is the question: will you embrace Him moment-by-moment, enjoying His presence in all that you do or will you rush quickly from one thing to the next? You choose.
*I preached a message on this very topic in November of 2017. You can listen to the message here.