Why are we so busy?

24 05 2007

Is it just my perception, or is almost everyone really busy these days?  I know people who aren’t even doing that much, yet they claim to be so busy with stuff.  My question is : should we be so busy and are we busy about the right things?  Let me present a quote that says a lot about this.

It is so hard to be still in a world where we no longer answer, “How are you?” with “Fine, thank you”, but instead say “Busy!” and where the ordinary tempo of life seems to be to fall further and further behind.  How can we stop and be still and do I really want to anyway?  I may complain about the constant burden of my busyness, but isn’t that also a way to keep score?  If I am always frenetically busy, busy, gallivanting about, my life at least looks like it has purpose, while if I am still I might discover that it doesn’t.  I might have to face my own emptiness.  But would that be such a bad thing?  We cannot be filled until we admit that we are empty.

Being busy can make us temporarily feel like we are accomplishing a lot, but are we actually bearing much fruit for God and making a difference in this world?  Do we think silence and stillness have no value or are a waste of a time?  Are we so busy doing “stuff” that we don’t have much time for prayer with God and for studying His Word?

I realize I’m asking a lot of questions and not providing a lot of answers.  I’ll write more on this later, but I first wanted to bring up some topics for you to think about, rather than telling you what I think it means.  In the meantime, think about what that quote is saying, along with how all this applies to how you live your life.  After all, the value in this “discussion” is the application.  If I happen to write something good and readers think, “That’s good”, but then nobody changes how they’re living, what good is it?

Of course, you are welcome to share your thoughts on this in the comments section.  Actually, I would like to hear your opinions on this.

Oh, before I go, I have one more question (kinda like Columbo did, except I’m not solving a mystery).  🙂  Why do you think God said, “Be still, and know that I am God“?




5 responses

25 05 2007
Michael Livengood


I am just catching up to the blog. I think you have nailed the issue squarely. In the midst of complaining we are too busy we also do not want to look like we are not important so therefore we continue to stay busy. I am concerned that sometimes we are dealing with the urgent but not the important…and I am guilty.


25 05 2007

I know that all of us (in America especially) are easily guilty of this because it’s a part of what we are taught. We are told we need to go, go, go, do, do, do. If we are idle, we won’t eat, that kind of thing. And there is definitely truth to this teaching (Proverbs even mentions it), but we are still to take time and rest. Rest in God and His peace.

He didn’t make the Sabbath just because it sounded good…

25 05 2007
Chris Davis

Good stuff. 🙂

Dr. J. Conley said this:
“Don’t let the temporal rob you of the eternal. Don’t let the trivial supplant the supremely important, and don’t let what is good leave no room for what is best.”

29 05 2007

But, some people take the concept of “resting in the Lord” or even supposed “busyness” to have an excuse for not doing anything for God beyond their comfort zone. So, I think we must get into alignment with what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will–and devote our energies there and release the busyness (and laziness) that hinders that from being our focus.

30 05 2007

All good points in the comments so far. My main point in writing the initial post is to focus on whether we’re busy with the right things. I suspect many people are busy and think they’re doing good, but they aren’t doing much of what God has called them to do. (And I’m including myself in this scrutinizing, because I know I need to be a better steward of my time.)

The key is finding what God’s will is. Some of it is clearly spelled out in the Bible (like “go and make disciples”), while some has to be received in prayer. To be in alignment with God’s will, we must spend quiet time with Him. One of my concerns is that the busyness our society promotes hinders our time with God in prayer and in studying the Word. That’s why I’ve been focusing on busyness in several consecutive posts. It’s something I struggle with, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

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