Notice how it isn’t generally people pulling back 2 back shifts in the ICU who tell you how busy they are; what these people are is not busy, but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. Instead, it almost always ends up being people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed, work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve been “encouraged” to participate in. They’re busy chiefly because of their own ambition, drive, or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. A good friend of mine recently texted me asking if I wanted to grab dinner. I answered by saying that I didn’t have much time but maybe (just maybe) I’d ditch a few hours of my work. Being the nice guy he is, it wasn’t a big deal to him. But if I were him I would have wanted to clarify that my “asking for dinner” had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation. But buddy, this was the invitation! But my busyness was like some vast churning noise through which I was shouting back at him but he gave up shouting back out it.
This phenomenon or hysteria or inevitable condition or whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it, it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. Let’s get this clear. I proclaim I’m busy all the time. It’s not as if any of us want to live like this any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam – it’s something we collectively force one another to do.
“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you’re busy, completely booked, or in demand every hours of the day”
Right? Right? Wrong!
Honestly, (sometimes) I can’t help but wonder whether or not all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t really matter.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you -Hebrews 13:5
Gracious Father, I thirst for a desire to live much less of a driven life and much more of a called life. Lord, if greater grace comes to the humble then accepting my limitations is essential for my liberation. Let this be my prayer.