On Being Busy

For the last four years I’ve spent my life chasing deadlines. Even Summer holidays were full of work and my mind was taken up with thoughts of how to make ends meet financially whilst keeping afloat academically and then there was the whole relational element of life to deal with. I was tired constantly, but somewhere in the midst of the tiredness I felt value because I was doing something, and doing so constantly.

This year a deliberate choice was made to slow down. I’m working part-time for church and the rest of my time is my own. The choice was made so that I’d actually have time to spend with The James (who is a shift worker, and so flexibility in my schedule is helpful) and to do what would bring rest to my weary soul. There’s one problem, though. I made the mistake of tying my identity up with my busyness.

Busy feels important. Busy feels valued. Busy feels accomplished. But busy isn’t necessarily godly, or joyful, or content. Busy could just be chasing after the wind for the sake of self-importance if we’re not careful with it.

The solution to this problem can’t be to stop doing anything, because we’re called to lives of productivity and service. The problem can’t be rooted in doing more because that would be counter-productive. The solution is to rest.

Rest, you say? How can we rest when there’s so much to do? The rest I’m talking about is partially about doing less, but it’s mostly about resting our identities in who God says we are, and not what we do or the successes of what we do. I need to do that. You need to do it too, friend.

When I feel grieved at an empty day, I’m asking God to give me peace in Him for that day and using the time to sing to Him, to pray to Him and to enjoy His Word rather than chasing an excuse to say I was busy this week when people ask how I am. I’m reading books that fill my soul with joy and that I had no chance to read because college books took all my mental energy for the last four years. I’m cooking food that loves and serves my husband and my friends and nourishes the community that exists in this apartment we live in. None of it is ‘busy’ work, but all of it matters because the focus of it is the God who gives work and who gives rest.

And today, as I woke up and found the day ahead of me empty, I sat in bed and sipped tea slowly while I asked God to give me rest and then wrote these words as a reminder to myself that I am not what I do – I am who God says I am.

My worth, and yours, is not in busyness. Our worth is in being loved by Love Himself. And that is more than enough. You are more than enough in Him.

 

 

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