Friday, August 10, 2012

The disease of 'busy'


Okay, so the picture is a little fuzzy, and Leanna isn't smiling---"Why is she posting this?" you're asking.

Well, I'm glad you asked that :) It goes along perfectly with the point I want to make right now.

Today on Facebook, a friend posted a link to an article---here it is if you want to read it. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

It's a long article, but I found it worth the read. Basically, the author is suggesting that people in general are too busy---we feel compelled to fill every single moment of every single day with 'stuff'---work, classes, groups, meetings, rehearsals, etc, etc. And, if it's not enough that we as adults are so busy, we go and make our KIDS busy too---from a full day of school to music lessons to soccer practice to ballet class to art class...they never stop! They never have time to just, well, be kids! To run and play and ride bikes and curl up with a good book---they're just too darn busy!

And, as if all that isn't bad enough----have you ever noticed most people's response when you ask them how they've been? "Oh, busy......CRAZY busy!" Never do people say "Oh, just enjoying life, taking it slow" The author of this article suggests that the reason for this is that we've learned to equate 'busyness' with 'value'. If I'm really busy, then I must be worth something, and everybody will think more of me.

Ever notice the facebook status updates? "Today I .................and then you get a long list of everything that person has done for the entire day----as if you really wanted to know when they brushed their teeth and drank their morning coffee!

Can I make a suggestion? Can I suggest that we stop finding our value in what we do, but rather who we ARE in Christ?  Doesn't the Bible say something like "I will boast in nothing else but Jesus Christ and Him crucified?"

Fitting more into my schedule doesn't make me worth more than the Smiths down the street. In fact, it may actually be a negative thing for my family----my children need me----not some crazy form of mom running around from one activity to the next. Married couples need to actually spend time together, rather than watch each other all week running in and out from one obligation to the next. Single people need time with others to build relationships and reach out to others.

I think that maybe, if we open up our own schedules a little, we may also open up our eyes to other people around us. We may stop trying to impress others with how busy WE are, and instead start thinking about how we can use some of that extra gained time from quitting other activities to help somebody else.

Here are two practical steps for doing this:

1. Find one unnecessary thing in your schedule this week and cut it out. Simple, right? Take ten extra minutes one night to lay on the couch and let your little girl line all her babies up on you. (Thus, the above picture ;) Maybe actually eat dinner with your family instead of grabbing something through drive-through on your way to your next activity. Take some cookies to a widow in your town and sit and visit with her for a while.

2. Stop using our 'busyness' to brag to others and make yourself feel more worthwhile. Start posting status updates that will be a blessing to others instead of trying to make them think more of you. When somebody asks you 'So, how have you been lately?', don't say "Busy!!!"---answer instead with "Incredibly blessed and thankful!"


My plans for tomorrow? To enjoy a calm and restful Saturday playing with my children---I will NOT be running from one thing to the next, and I'm not ashamed to admit it :)


2 comments:

The Richmond Four said...

Loved what you had to say! Thanks for taking the time to expand your point of view on this aspect of life, and for sharing some practical tips. I completely agree, and am finding it very encouraging to see those who are for this! Sometimes I feel like the only fish swimming up the stream. I've taken some time pondering 1 Thess. 4:11-12. Still wanting to find balance, but wanting to follow God's desire for us to live a life with much more margin than what we allow for ourselves today. In the book I referenced on FB, the author points out that people used to have some of that margin built in for them... before electricity, people rose with the sun, and went to bed when it set. Now, we can stay awake all night long. It's not healthy, and we're paying severely for it! Anyway, just some thoughts on this side. I could go on and on, but I don't see the point as we seem to be thinking similarly. Always appreciate your thoughts, and love seeing pics of those precious kiddos. Many blessings on you!

Chuck said...

1,000 Gifts is one of the books i am reading now and I think the truth of the "Tyranny of the Urgent" is becoming a "now word" that God is speaking to His Church. SELAH

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