I'm sharing a wonderfully insightful and timely post from a special guest today--my handsome, talented hubby Carey.
Exactly when did it happen? The response to the obligatory question “How are you doing?” used to be the equally generic “Fine” or even the occasional “I’m doing great – how about you?”
But somewhere around the time when the internet was “new-fangled” and productivity became king, the common reply became one simple little word: “Busy.”
As a matter of fact, I did an informal survey recently. Trying to be a relatively polite Tennessee boy, I often smile at folks and ask them how they’re doing. Lately, I started keeping track of people’s responses, and it hit me one day just how many people--when forced to sum up their lives in one word--blurt out the word “busy.” Of all the words that could bubble up to the surface of their consciousness, this little word has become the adjective of choice.
And being the curious over-thinker that I am, this led me to the next question. Why?
Why are we so busy? And, for the record, I’m not referring to the “I’ve got a lot to do today” kind of busy. That's going to happen from time to time. I’m talking about the “I’m on a human hamster wheel of activity, my life is a blur of responsibilities and to-do lists, and I don’t see any end in sight” kind of busy.
This is where many of the people I meet live.
The thing that puzzles me is that, with very few exceptions (family illness, etc.), the very busy-ness that we complain about is directly due to a series of choices that we've made.
We largely create our own chaos.
Whether it's a job that keeps us on edge, too many extra activities for the kiddos, saying "yes" at church, etc.--each bit of stress is usually linked to a deliberate decision that we made at some point. So, why do we do it? Why do we choose a hectic life and then bemoan the fact that we feel harried and hurried all of the time?
Not to go "Dr. Phil" on everyone, but if we keep doing something, we must be getting something out of it.
I think that the hamster-wheel we keep ourselves on makes us feel more purposeful. We tend to define ourselves by what we accomplish, rather than who we are in Christ. So, whether we like to admit it or not, we've become addicted to activity, because on some level it makes us feel secure and important. However, as author Steve McVey points out, we can't mistake commotion for motion. Just because we're busy doesn't mean that we're moving forward.
I've thought a lot about this topic, and the Dyers definitely haven't mastered it yet. There's always an ebb and flow to life, and we get just as busy as the next family from time to time. But we decided a while back to spend a little less time going ninety-to-nothing, and a little more time slowing down, looking into each other's eyes and focusing on relationships--with each other and with God.
So in this holiday season, when we often reach the boiling point that I call "crazy busy", I believe the most productive thing we can do at times is: sit down, rest in Him, and let Him speak His steady, unhurried love to us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”