As we start into another year and enter back into the schedule, we face a tremendous cultural pressure toward busyness. Kevin DeYoung wrote about this in his book Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book for a (Really) Big Problem. There are music lessons, sporting events, social gatherings and extracurricular school activities. The list goes on and on. What is at stake in our busyness? What difference does it make if we live our lives at a breakneck, frenetic pace?
The reality is that busyness comes with a cost.
- It costs us physical health. God did not intend for us to work nonstop. When he created the world, he designated one day in seven that was to be a day of rest and rejuvenation. We neglect this to our peril. It has been said that if you neglect Sabbath, sickness will become your Sabbath. Either you take the rest voluntarily or God will force the issue.
- It costs us joy. When our lives are frenetic, disjointed and fragmented we are more prone to anxiety, stress and frustration. When we cram our lives full of activities, there is little time left for meaningful friendships.
- It costs us effectiveness. Jesus warned about the seed that was choked out by thorns (Mk. 4:18-19). The seed is choked out by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things. We are overwhelmed with a million activities and the most important things get lost in the shuffle. For most, the greatest threat to the faith is not heresy but distraction.
- It costs us true contentment. The fact is that many people like to be busy. It is part of their identity. It is how they define their worth. It keeps them from being alone with their thoughts. For many, busyness is a way to mask a deeper soul sickness. Busyness is a drug. It numbs the pain without addressing the problem.
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