It’s been one of “those” weeks! You know the sort, so much to do and so little time in which to do it. Sometime back, I read a book on time management for Church Ministers and the author suggested that no minister should ever use the word “busy” when describing their week. So, as I look back over this week it’s certainly been the “B” word – busy (he whispers).
What is wrong with being the “B” word you ask? I would say nothing provided it is not the only thing we are. There is a season for every activity (Ecclesiastes 3) including being the “B” word. If I am honest about it, I actually quite like those times of real busy-ness. The danger is when we are constantly so busy that we loose sight of God on our busy-ness.
One friend shared with me the idea that Busy could be read as Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke and there are times when my busy-ness isn’t a joy, it is a burden. When my busy becomes a burden I get irritable (surly not, you cry) prayer becomes a chore and my busy-ness is about me and not about God or others.
You probably know the story of Martha and Mary. Jesus and His disciples visit their home and Mary sits at Jesus feet whilst Martha runs around doing jobs. Martha tells Jesus to get Mary to help her and Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better way (you can read this in Luke 1- vs. 38 – 42). If you are anything like me, and enjoy being busy, this is a story that makes me feel uncomfortable. But, it does ask important questions.
Firstly, does our busy-ness include or exclude Jesus? If we are so busy that we just don’t have time for Jesus and our relationship with Him then, burnout will soon follow. Even Jesus needed that down time to get away with His Father, and so do we.
Secondly, who is our busy-ness for? Was Martha setting out to impress so that people would speak well of her or, was she busy out of a genuine desire to serve? Sometimes, in my busy-ness, that can become a line that gets a little cloudy! May our motivation always to be to serve Jesus and not a bigger audience.
Thirdly, is our busy-ness an excuse? We can use our busy-ness to keep God and others at arm’s length. I dread those conversations that begin with the words “sorry to interrupt you, I know you are too busy but…” I dread them because, at that point I know I have made myself unavailable by telling others “I am too busy for you” or, even worse, “you are not valuable enough for me to pay attention to”. If there is one thing I see in the life of Jesus it is that He treated all as being people of worth and value.
So, just a few thoughts for you before I rush off and engage in another “B word” day and I will tell you this – I am really enjoying this season of busy-ness but, looking forward to a season when things quieten down too!