A BLOG SERIES ON THE PATH OF A DISCIPLE
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day”, “I need a bit more time”, “I’m just crazy busy right now”, “I can’t catch up”, “How am I ever going to get it all done” are all statements that unfortunately I have uttered multiple times over the past month. And I would guess that many of you have said the same things. We live in a culture of busyness. Multitasking is a must however completion seems virtually impossible. We deprive ourselves of sleep, rest, food, relationships, and overall health all for the benefit of whittling down the list. But why? Is it a paycheck, a raise, or maybe a promotion? I would argue that while maybe those things are part of it, they are not the primary motivators. Rather it seems that our obsession for busyness is correlated in our minds to be a symbol of status, worth, or even prestige. The world tells us that busyness equals successful, driven, hardworking individuals. And maybe if we aren’t all those things then quite possibly, we are lazy? Today’s society has made busyness a virtue to be desired. While we may not say to others that we desire to be busy, our lives indicate it moment by moment.
The effect of this misguided mindset is damaging our culture. In full disclosure, I have absolutely zero amount of medical knowledge or expertise, but it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to recognize that health problems are on the rise due to the stress and anxiety that run alongside this fast-paced lifestyle. We may hold an appearance of achievement while on the inside we are just a nervous ball of worry and exhaustion. We are neglecting family, friendships, relationships, and rest as we run towards the idol of a “fulfilled” busy life. One in which we are respected, admired and thought highly of by the ones around us. But this, my friend, is a false allusion and often in the end the opposite effect is achieved.
“Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:5-6
When we steward our time for a sense of earthly pride and gain, we deprive ourselves of the gift of each day that we have been given. And because of this misguided use of this gift, we will go away unfilled, hungry, defeated, and unsatisfied. This idol of a busy lifestyle robs us of the primary purpose of the reason that God placed us here. And instead of resting in the goodness of the Lord, we are running frantically in circles holding a bag with holes in it.
The failure to recognize the ineffectiveness of packing our days with more than we can possibly accomplish is detrimental. Not only to our health, happiness, and relationships, but it deprives us of an intimate relationship with our Savior. How many of us opt out of reading our Bibles because we are too busy? What about praying—are our minds too bogged down to do that too? This chaotic lifestyle that so many of us are living is causing a disconnect in our connection with Jesus. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
This is where we find the truth that offers fulfillment. God tells us to step away, sit with Him, and rest. It is in this place that we absorb the eternal truth that He is God and all that encompasses. The picture of who God is is painted all through the Bible.
God is Holy, Good, Unchanging, Infinite, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Forgiving, and Loving. And while, yes, He is all those wonderful things –he is also impartial, just, and jealous. He will not tolerate His children placing anything at all in front of Him. First place belongs to Him and Him alone.
Not only does He desire that we are committed to Him over everything else, but He also deserves this devotion from us.
Busyness is not a virtue –period. And it is past time that we stop running ragged in hopes of finding our worth and status in a world that changes its definition of truth with each fleeting moment. Rather as Disciples of Christ, let us seek the virtues that are indicative of this calling.
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12
Here, Paul writes a letter to the town of Colosse, warning and refuting the false teachings that were impacting the Colossian church. This letter was not written to unbelievers but instead to Christians. And while his purpose may have been to warn them, His primary goal was to point them toward their identity in Christ and what their lives were supposed to reflect. However, he didn’t tell them to work to be compassionate, humble, meek, and patient. Paul knew that on our own these are not strengths that we will ever possess fully. Rather, they are fulfilled through our connection and relationship to a Holy God.
And this connection requires stepping away from the hectic rat race of this world and resting in Him. This is where we are fed, filled, and sustained. This is where we find out who we are –not in the eyes of the world or what it’s telling of to be, but rather with the eternal truths of God. Jesus gives us example after example of stepping away and resting with His Father during His earthly ministry. The crowds were overwhelming, and people were demanding. And as the exigencies of His purpose began to deplete Him, He was certain of the only place He could be refilled –resting with His Father.
Are you finding your fulfillment in the exhausting pursuit of a busy life? Are you looking for achievement and rewards in a title, occupation, venture, or task? My heart today is to bring to your attention the detriment of idolatry. God warns His people time and time again of the repercussions of this sin. Anything at all that we place before our relationship and devotion to God is idolatry and it is wrong. Stepping away for solitude and rest in God, takes the same intentionality that Prayer, Bible Study, and all the other Spiritual Disciplines do. Not only is it intentional, but it is in this place where God receives our full undivided attention. And through this stewardship of our time, we are refreshed, renewed, and restored to continue our mission on the Path of A Disciple.
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