That thing I’m so desperately trying to put a stop to is busyness.
I am done being “busy.”
Never again in my life do I want to consider myself busy. That is radical, I am well aware. I realize that jaws may be dropping at this crazy proclamation. But, I think it’s exactly what I need in my life to help me be at peace.
The standard definition of busy is something along the lines of “having a lot to do.” Okay, fair enough. That definition works for me…but society’s coveted lifestyle of “being busy” sure doesn’t.
You bump into a friend at the grocery store and ask how they’ve been. What’s their response? “Oh, really busy. Things are just crazy.” How about when you need to schedule something? It almost seems like a competition of who has more going on. “I can’t do Thursday. I have to go to yoga, then run my daughter to dance class, then cook dinner, then take the kids to swim practice. When that’s all done, we need to study spelling and pack lunches. Oh, and I’m supposed to bake two-dozen cookies for the bake sale on Friday. So, yeah, Thursday’s out.”
Just thinking about these “busy” schedules makes my head spin. I used to be one of those people. I used to overcommit, filling my schedule with one extracurricular activity after another. I didn’t want to miss out on anything. For a time, it felt good to be active and soaking up every “great opportunity.” Then, I realized what people mean about the whole “burn out” thing. When you go go go at a constant rate, there’s no more joy in what you’re doing. I don’t know about you, but I am happiest when I can slow down and experience the now in a purposeful way. Being busy all the time just isn’t fulfilling.
Now, I’m not saying there’s no value in keeping a schedule of things to do. There is a lot of value in that. I’m a big proponent of making time for things that are important to you and that help you grow as a person. I’m saying that we as a society need to take a step back and remove ourselves from this “busy” mindset. When we think we need to be “busy” all the time, we stop experiencing the joy in the true opportunities that are right in front of us. Those opportunities may not involve going to an informational meeting or signing a form, but they often involve experiences of the senses. They involve human contact. They involve true, beautiful joy in the small moments.
Right now, I’m committing to living a full life. This is not the same as having a full schedule. I want to listen intently to the whispers of God in my life, while living out a life of faithfulness. I will stay active, but in a way that makes sense for my life’s purpose. That purpose does involve having a schedule. It involves making plans, showing up to weekly gatherings, and having coffee dates. It involves doing work. The difference between this life and a life of busyness is that I won’t succumb to the societal pressures of needing to outdo anyone with having a busier schedule.
I recently listened to a Joyce Meyer message that really spoke to me about my priorities.
“God does not lead us to do so many things that we are stressed out all the time and have no joy.”
It was a good reminder. It is not God’s will for us to be stressed out from being overly busy. If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed by a busy schedule, take a look at your life. What has God called you to do? What activities or commitments can you eliminate that aren’t part of your calling? How can you better manage your time? Think and pray about these things.
Even if the things in your life are what you feel called to be involved with, there’s a chance you still feel the societal pressure to be “busy.” Maybe your mindset needs to change from feeling like the things you’re doing are a blessing instead of a burden. Each situation is different, but I honestly believe that the best way to live is a full life reliant on Christ.
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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.