I used to love summer for its simplicity, sleeping in without setting an alarm, star gazing, popsicles on the deck, running around outside with the neighborhood kids, catching lightening bugs and impromptu sleepovers with friends. If that were still the case, then writing about busyness during the summer doesn’t quite make sense. However, somewhere along the way, summer has gone from restful and relaxing to running around, going from swim lessons to camp to music recitals or trying to juggle working a job, summer classes and an internship not to mention traveling and conferences. Busyness now seems to be a state that we are constantly in year round.
In today’s society, when you ask someone how they are doing, you’ll oftentimes hear them say something along the lines of “busy,” “stressed,” or “I just have a lot on my plate right now.”
We are constantly on the go, continuously running from one thing to the next enslaved to our to-do lists and schedules. Being busy has almost become a badge of honor and people compete by listing off their crazy schedules trying to prove that their life is busier than their friends. But why is being busy so great?
Yes, you could say that if people simply start committing to less things, not scheduling every minute of the week and taking time for themselves that could help remedy the problem, but I think for some of us busyness goes far deeper than our schedules and to-do lists.
Our busyness can become a wall against emptiness.
Hey, if we’re busy than our life can’t be meaningless, because we’re doing things, right? Being too busy to attend an event or go out to dinner with a friend makes us feel important and sought after. Our society has helped us to confuse being busy with being fulfilled. Now when we’re not busy we feel antsy, worthless and sometimes even depressed. Does the thought of being still, taking a break and resting make you nervous? Maybe that’s because you’re finding your worth and identity in what you do. You don’t have to earn your existence by accomplishing a lot of things. Earning awards, prestige and doing acts of service or working overtime do not give you worth. You have worth and value simply because of who you are.
In those moments when we’re quiet, not producing anything, not accomplishing a task or goal, insecurities can creep in. We can be tempted to feel as if we’re worthless or simply getting in the way, but dear friend I want to remind you that God doesn’t just tolerate you and accept you, He delights in you and rejoices over you simply because you are His child, not because of the things you do for Him. Your identity is not found in how you preform or what you produce in life. No, your identity is found in the one who created you and called you by name -- God. Pause for a minute and let Him remind you of His love for you, and of your immeasurable worth.
Do not let chronic busyness lead to stress and steal your joy in life. Being busy is not necessarily a bad thing and sometimes we’re just in busy seasons. But I would say the things that are making you busy should be things that are helping you to accomplish your dreams and goals, things that are pushing you to love God and other people more. Not things that you are doing in order to gain acceptance and value, because ultimately no matter much stuff you do it will all be empty in the end, if the purpose is not to live for God and love others.
I would encourage you to shift your focus from what you accomplish to how you can live your life with joy, from completing your to-do list to how you can love and serve others. In the hustle and bustle don’t neglect the most important thing simply sitting at Jesus’s feet this is what will remind you of your worth and identity and that you are unconditionally loved no matter what you accomplish that day, that your life has meaning apart from your to-do list.
You may be busy, but are you really living a life that’s worth living?