There’s lots of buzz about “busy” being bad. “Simplify your life.” “Learn to say, ‘No’.” “Don’t settle for busy.” But is busy, bad?
Busy, Not Bad
I follow Jesus’ example in my life.
Jesus was VERY busy.
Oh yes he was.
For example, when his cousin and friend John the Baptist had just been beheaded, Jesus tried to go to an isolated place to mourn, but the crowds beat him there. What did he do? He got busy healing their sick – one at a time – and then he served them all dinner.
Only then, in the evening, did he get a chance to be alone. Even that was interrupted. He ends up taking a short-cut – straight across a lake on top of the water – to get to his disciples’ boat that was storm struck. Matthew 14:10-25
Jesus was busy.
Busy, Not Hurried
Habitual hurry is unhealthy. It’s not good for your soul.
Dallas Willard points out that there is a world of difference between being “busy” and being “hurried.”
Busy is an outward, physical condition. Hurried is an inner, spiritual condition.
A full schedule Preoccupied
Many activities Unable to be fully present
An outward condition An inner condition of the soul
of the calendar
Physically demanding Spiritually draining
Reminds me I need God Causes me to be unavailable to God
You cannot live well in the kingdom of God with a hurried soul.
My goal is to be busy but never hurried.
People who aren’t hurried are open to interruptions.
I’m a pastor. Pastors can’t serve well if they aren’t open to interruptions. It’s the same for moms, isn’t it?
Interruptions are an efficient use of time and focus if you aren’t hurried.
How to Be Busy Like Jesus
1. Be clear on your identity. The need for significance can drive you to hurriedness unless your significance is based on who you are, not what you do.
Jesus knew who he was. He began much of his teaching with “I am…” He addressed his closest friends with the words, “You are…”
If you’re not clear on your identity ask some trusted friends why they think God put you on earth. Their responses shouldn’t be the final word but they should offer valuable insight.
2. Be clear in your purpose. At one point Jesus says, “My Father is always at work and I too am working.” John 5:16,17(NIV) Purposeful work is never busy work but it most often is busy.
Clarity of purpose frees you to use the power positive a “No.”
Do you know what your purpose is? Are you living on purpose?
3. Come apart so you won’t come apart.
At one point Jesus and his disciples were so busy they didn’t have time to eat. Been there?
Got the t-shirt? Mark 6:31(NIV)
Jesus gets them into a boat and off they go to a quiet place.
Are you drawing crowds? Good. But come apart from the crowd occasionally, even if they need you.
4. Understand the power of a rested soul. There were sick people who needed healing. Jesus directed his disciples AWAY from the need. Jesus slowed his disciples down so they could rest their souls, not just their bodies.
The good Shepherd “…makes me lie down in green pastures.” Where are your green pastures? (Two of mine are a friend’s residence in Canmore and a cabin in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.)
Follow these four steps so you can be busy like Jesus in serving God.
Busy? Don’t be too hurried to leave a comment below.
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