I am sure you would agree that there is much diversity in how we all understand and relate to time, but, in the modernised, industrialised, cultural context we’re living in, “crazy busy” is par for the course. This essentially refers to persistent hectic schedules…..a frenzied trying to finish tasks, meet deadlines, to please some….to control others, being slave to technology, travelling, email, Facebook, Twitter……to name but a few!
Further enabling this, is the fact that we have more opportunity than ever – the ability to go anywhere cheaply, to get information from anywhere (you just need to Google), to stay up late, rise early…..sometimes chronically sleep deprived! Because we can do so much, we do do so much. Our lives have no limits: there is an expansion of opportunities for leisure/ travel/ more education/ at church/ in communities……opportunities to make a difference around the world. No wonder we are “crazy busy”!
But, “crazy busy” puts our souls at risk of chaos: it can ruin our souls; rob our hearts or even cover up defects in our souls. We are finite creatures, yet we schedule for more than that, leaving no margin between our loads and our limits. As those with the mind of Christ, we understand deep down that the problem is not just with our schedules or with life’s complexities – the chaos is at least partly self-created. On most days, for some of us, our responsibilities, requirements and ambitions to realise dreams and best laid plans add up to much more than we can handle.
We are all in a position to reflect back on several moments when we could ask ” how did I get myself in this? Why did I say yes? How long can I keep it up? Know that “why” theology bemoaning one’s poor planning and decision-making? When you realise you’ve missed too many quiet times in His presence, you’ve been a tad bit impatient with others, taken the family for granted, fed important relationships left-overs, been too busy to pursue God with whole heart, soul, mind and strength! Sound familiar? Read on.
In “The Purpose-Driven Life” Rick Warren reminds us to be aware of the barrenness of a “crazy busy” life, since activity and productivity are not the same thing. Our busyness can either be the evidence of our faithfulness or, on the other hand, if it’s all about ‘us’, evidence of our pride, ambition and unbridled activity. The reason we are busy is because we are supposed to be busy. If you have creativity, ambition and a heart of love, you will be busy.
We have been commissioned to disciple the nations, to work with our hands, to love God with our minds. It’s not a sin to be busy….it’s not wrong to be active. It is possible to live our days in a flurry of hard work, serving, bearing burdens and to do so with the right dependence on God so it does not feel like crazy busy. The antidote to busyness of soul is not sloth and indifference – it is rest, rhythm, death to pride, acceptance of our own finitude and trust in the providence of God.
The crazy busy that is bad is not the busyness of work – it’s the working hard at what we have not been called to do. We were made to cultivate the Garden of God, to replenish the earth and to subdue it. The pains and thorns (the cares…and the worries of this life) were curses but not work itself. We were made to be busy.
Paul counted it joy to “spend and be spent” for his people (2Cor 11:28); he faced every imaginable opposition and yet learnt to be content (Phil 4:11); anxious about nothing (Phil 4:6): making every request known unto God…! Paul was busy in the right ways. If you love God and serve others, you will be busy, sometimes overwhelmed, feeling pressure. Often you will be tired, get discouraged, feel exhausted. But, for the sake of Christ, we must be content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. That’s what we were made for. And yes, sometimes we must be content with the right busyness we were called to – God sustains us in the midst of it all with the right dose of peace and rest.
Have an awesome week spending and being spent making Him known!
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren on Amazon
About the Author
Dr Solomons is a Specialist Prosthodontist in private practice. She is head of clinical unit in Prosthodontics, teaching master’s students at Medunsa. A trainee transformational leadership coach serving as a lay pastor. A fellow of Higher Education South Africa (HESA) as well as the President and Director of the South African Dental Association. She has been married for 27 years to Dean and together they have two handsome adult sons. Her passion lies in seizing every opportunity to influence and impact atmospheres, empowering others unto greater exploits, making God known.