Busy Points

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“Keeping busy?” was my greeting when I arrived in my client’s office. Housed in a gleaming 16-story office building, his surroundings reflected a certain level of success and testimony to the fact that this man is always busy.

“Yes,” I answered. “Very.” But didn’t go into any details. After all, what was I going to say?  No? Of course, not. Most people wouldn’t. Because the need to be “busy” signalling your worth, value or success, is a driving force in this country, as we toil to have, provide and display the “things” that are the fruit of this busyness.

Truth is, I am busy. But I can’t say I am totally productive. Busy and productive are two different things. Productive would ideally mean I would be happy at the end of the day, pleased with the outcomes of my busyness, but I rarely am because I am too busy thinking about how busy I am.

And the guilt. I joke that I have so much guilt I ought to be Catholic, but the truth is that I often feel guilty if I am not doing something. Sometimes it’s continued work on a client project, but it’s also laundry, housekeeping, etc. Something that says I am a true contributor to the planet.

But now that I have confessed all of this, where are the points I am earning for being this busy, and who should care if I am busy or not?

I’ll name two. God and Satan.

Satan, in fact, loves the fact that when I wake up, I am much more likely to wake with thoughts of what I need to do for whomever that day than in spending time at rest with God. It is, after all, Satan’s greatest creation, this busyness that feeds our egos, our need to feel accomplished. Busyness is our drug of choice and more damaging than any created by man.

“Busyness is not a reason for not getting other things done. It is an excuse for not claiming your true priorities.”
― Alan Cohen

I want to be a Mary in a Martha world, but getting there often eludes me. You remember them. Sisters, both of whom loved Jesus. But it was Jesus who lovingly pointed out to Martha that her busyness wasn’t earning her any points when she complained that Mary wasn’t being very helpful.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” ―Luke 10:38-42

And in the midst of our busyness, are we not asking ourselves if all of this has any significance? of course and that’s the plan. While Satan sits back buffing his nails and watching us fret over whether or not our lives have meaning, he is fully satisfied that the busyness we long for only adds to our confusion.  Finding God’s will, on His terms, just doesn’t match all of our busyness and the plans we make to go with it.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ―Ephesians 5:15-17

Making time with God should be the priority, but it is often the priorities of others that take first place. The boss who needs you to come in early or stay late, the trainer who says you need to exercise more often, the child over scheduled for activities (and learning at an early age about busyness) ― all are things we choose over time with God. And yes, it’s a choice.

So when the Creator of the Universe tells us that spending time with Him will actually give us all the “things” we are looking for, should we believe Him?

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ― Matthew 6:33

My vote would be yes, but the truth is, we want to keep God on the bench until things get so busy and out of control that we have no choice but to cry, “HELP!”

And that’s when we would hopefully and finally let go of our human desires, and some of the busyness, and let God do His thing, because it is HIS thing. Remembering that at the core of our creation, our purpose is to be WITH God, because He truly wants to be WITH us. To love us, care for us and provide for us.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ― Matthew 11:28-31

In one of my rare times of true prayer, I did cry out to God, not so much for myself, but for those I love, asking that we would take and eat of this simple message.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

In quoting this verse, most people stop at 11, but I believe the most important part is in verse 12. Call upon the Lord, because He says He will hear you, when you pray. And what is prayer, if not a conversation with God, in a quiet place at a quiet time, hopefully, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be whenever you finally stop your busyness, remember your priorities and choose to pray.


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