Over the past few weeks we have had many conversations around New Life concerning busyness. No doubt life can quickly rise to the level of insanity and get out of control because of our busy schedule. At the Harmon house it seems like we struggle with this issue on a regular basis. Now that we have a five year old in our family we get the opportunity to do kindergarten again. I am grateful for the many blessings that God has placed on our family but if we are not careful we can become consumed by our busy schedule.
As I have considered this issue in my own life I wanted to revisit this issue and preach to my soul the importance of simplicity. I was reminded of a great resource from 2013 by Kevin Deyoung called Crazy Busy. If you have not read this book and you can relate to my struggle with a crazy schedule I suggest getting a copy and working through the content. I find his approach to this book very helpful and practical as he confesses this reality “I’m writing this book to figure out things I don’t know and to work on change I have not yet seen. More than any other book I’ve worked on, this one is for me.” Here is a great interview with Kevin that will provide some helpful insight:
Here are four lessons that Kevin has helped me process concerning busyness in my life:
1. Busyness will impact my physical health. We all realize that God did not intend for
us to continually work. When He created the world, the rhythm He established was to work six days and rest one day. That day of rest serves to replenish the body and soul. Unfortunately we neglect important models. We neglect exercise, proper diet and healthy emotional support and our bodies are paying a heavy price.
2. Busyness will deplete my joy. When our lives are frenetic, disjointed and
fragmented we are more prone to anxiety, stress and frustration. Do you feel that tension in your life? Unfortunately we often live isolated lives because our schedules are so demanding. When our lives are full of activities, there is little time left for meaningful friendships. This routine does not produce joy but it will eventually deplete our joy.
3. Busyness will diminish my purpose. Jesus warned about the seed that was choked
out by thorns (Mk. 4:18-19). The seed is choked out by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things. We are overwhelmed with a million activities and the most important things get lost in the shuffle. For most, the greatest threat to the faith is not heresy but distraction. Eugene Petersen in his book Subversive Spirituality makes this important observation “Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It is essentially laziness. It is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions. It is taking charge.”
4. Busyness will destroy my contentment. The reality that I have discovered is that
most people like to be busy. It is a social norm that is deeply rooted within our culture. Our identity and worth are connected to our busy schedule. I am convinced
that busyness often serves as a mask of a deeper sickness within the soul. Busyness has become a drug. It is often used to numb the pain without addressing the problem. I love the apostle Paul's words to the church found in Philippians chapter 4 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Paul discovered the beauty of contentment by focusing his life on Christ.
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