Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Problem of Always Being Busy

Why do we hold up busy-ness as a badge of honour?

We often tell people how busy we are.

I wonder if we do that because we think it makes us sound important.

I know I've done that. I wanted the person I was talking to see me as someone important, so I talked about all I was doing to fill my time and I sounded busy. That was my goal with what I said, but looking back I'm not sure that was what I should have been trying for.

What if we thought of busy-ness differently?

What if we started to look at being really busy as a problem rather than a badge of honour? What would that look like?

Busy-ness isn't necessarily a good thing. It means we feel like we're just running from one thing to the next all day, falling into bed exhausted, and getting up the next morning to do it all over again.

There's one problem with that kind of living. One big problem . . . it leaves little time for relationships with people. And we were made for relationships with others. We need time for that in our lives.

Think about it . . . when you're feeling like you have lots of things to get done and not enough time to do it all, what is usually the first thing to do?

Time with friends.

We cancel the coffee date with a friend. We skip Bible study and church. We avoid the people we live with - by staying late at the office or closing the door to the home office to get things done.

In short, we cut the things that seem the easiest to cut. The reality is we're cutting the things we need the most.

Our busy-ness and our obsession with it isolates us. Often in the times when we need people the most. When we need to make family and friends more important, not less important.

What if we changed how we look at busy-ness?

What if we intentionally stopped looking at busy-ness as a badge of honour?

What if we started to look at busy-ness as a problem? As the problem it is?

Maybe that would change the way we talk. And maybe that would change what gets cut when it seems like we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Relationships with those closest to us would be more important, not relegated to the bottom of the list.

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