It’s been awhile since I last sat down to write. I’ve been very busy. I don’t like the word “busy” – it’s overused and has almost become as common a response as “fine” when asked, “How are you?” It’s acceptable. It’s been normalized. It’s expected. But that doesn’t make it right.
I think our society has made an idol of busyness. If you’re not busy, you’re not productive. Or worse, you’re lazy.
However, when I’m busy I feel as if I’m just trying to get through the day. That’s not living; that’s existing. Last week seemed especially loaded with things to do as I worked during the day, attended meetings in the evenings, and prepared for my weekend meetings during any “down” time. I didn’t even have time to return a friends’ phone call.
When I’m busy, my priorities get thrown out of whack. I’m too tired to play with my children as I fall into bed each night. But I can’t sleep because my mind is racing with things yet unaccomplished. I don’t take the time to walk because I think I could use those thirty minutes to answer emails piling up in my inbox. But truthfully, I could have used the energy that comes out of a vigorous workout.
What really throws me out of balance is my avoidance of quiet time with God. In order to accomplish all I have on my list of things to do, I must first be filled with energy that only the Holy Spirit can give me. When I don’t spend this time with God and try to do it all in my own strength I burn out very quickly. I need to partner with God in order to have the energy and enthusiasm to do His work.
Each activity on my agenda last week had merit. Each was good and important and worthy of my attention. But none of those activities should have been at the expense of my relationship with God. When God comes first, all else falls neatly into place.
I need to spend time being quiet and contemplative without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else. God calls me away to be refueled. I don’t just want to exist, struggling just to make it through another day. I want to live. I want to enjoy life. I know that the only way to do that is to commit to working on my relationship with God. Not adding another thing to my to-do list, but diving into the refreshment that only quiet time with God affords.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 NIV).