Busyness marks time but won't bring you a full life

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Busyness kills the soul. What I mean by busyness is constantly checking the clock only to be surprised at how slow the hands have moved around the face, checking e-mail again and again just in case that crucial message you are expecting comes through, filling each moment with exhausting activities only to meet at the close of the day alone with the small voice that wonders if what happened today really matters. How many people did you talk to without connecting to anyone? What urgent distractions keep you from what really matters?

Busyness takes all shapes and forms: the soccer mom shuffling her star athletes to event after event, even though no one is enjoying the chaotic pace of life; the businessman who is afraid that if he slows down and says no, he will no longer be considered a "team player" and be passed up for the promotion, which he has convinced himself will bring him the happiness he is working so hard for. What drives busyness is not a passion for a full schedule but a misdirected desire for a full life.

"Desire without knowledge is not good and whoever makes haste with his feet missed his way." (Proverbs 19:2) What the writer of this proverb points out to us is a foundation that the Lord never intended for our lives to be busy; he intended them to be abundant. The life God intends for the children he loves is not one that is based on a full social schedule any more than it is a life full of activities to attempt to win his favor.

The writer points out that a life of godly abundance is one that marries passion with understanding. Passion will never make up for purpose. Passion for a godly, healthy and happy marriage and family will never make up for the knowledge of what that looks like matched with a plan of steps to shape it.

The proverb writer also reminds us that stepping quickly without understanding leads to an unintended path, likening busyness to wind chasing. These few words offer an invitation to take stock in where our path is leading us. Does your current path lead to the abundant life hidden in God or down the road leading to the corner of busy and disappointed?

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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