I’m not sure if it was one crazy smart person, or the culmination of those over time, but it was an intense power move to associate a heightened sense of status and importance with the idea of busyness.
Think about it – we envy the mom who seems to ‘do it all’, a comment about how little sleep one gets turns into an (even accidental) competition of who gets less, we glamorize being addicted to caffeine.
I know I know, who am I to talk? I am known for my coffee addiction and also for likely being the busiest person in the room. Even as a child, something was always in season for me. When I was in school I was running from rehearsal for the musical straight to the gym for basketball practice. In college it only got worse juggling my studies, two varsity sports, and a sorority all simultaneously. And I was the first to let everyone know of my crazy packed schedule and how I thrived off of four hours of sleep, as if that was a badge of honor to wear proudly. I was the poster child for ‘busyness is better’.
And then, I wasn’t. Track ended. Cheerleading ended. School ended. After I graduated from college, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I wasn’t doing anything. And, for starters, I was going out of my mind. You know how it’s nice for about two days, then you start getting stir crazy? Well this newfound boredom gave me time to reflect and to meet with God more often and more regularly. And it taught me a couple things.
First off, I realized how unhealthy my entire college career was. I was sick so often and in so many different ways, I was sad, I was stressed, I was dark. And I didn’t think anything of it, in fact I thought it was normal. I guess I assumed that’s just how life was sometimes, but I didn’t realize it didn’t need to be. At least not for the reasons it was for me. My healthiest and happiest time was at the end of college, a lot had changed in my circumstances but the gist of it was I was doing LESS. I was able to get a full night’s sleep every night, I had less pressure to be perfect at everything all the time, and I was able to prioritize the things [and people] that made me happiest.
The other thing I learned along the way is that worldly busyness is a distraction. It’s a distraction from the thing that matters most: spending time and building relationships with the people you love and the One that loves you most. God is begging and fighting for your attention, and when other things are taking it away from Him, we’ve got to refocus our priorities.
It’s okay to say no, you really don’t have to join that club. It’s good to have breaks, you don’t need to be at every dinner party. Being busy doesn’t make you any more highly valued, especially not in God’s eyes (the only ones that really matter here!!). And constantly filling your time is not going to give you that sense of fulfillment that you’re so desperately looking for. At the end of the day (when you’re crawling into bed to get those measly four hours of sleep), those feelings of emptiness will creep back into your heart.
But that’s your chance to let Jesus fill that space! Get rid of the distractions, cut out the unnecessary overcommitments, BUSYNESS ISN’T BETTER. What’s better is taking the opportunity to experience the fullness of Christ. Spend some time in the word, have more conversations with Him where you listen more and talk less, burst into tears singing your favorite worship song at the top of your lungs alone in your car.
The moral of the story here is that society isn’t right – it never is. Having the busiest schedule isn’t glamorous, it’s not healthy, and it’s not sustainable. Don’t try to live up to that standard. Do what you love but be mindful not to spread yourself too thin, trust me I spent years and years learning the hard way. Don’t let activities become a distraction from our most important purpose on this earth.
Love God. Love People. xx