“I hate to ask you for this favor because I know you’re so busy…” There is little that burdens my heart more than hearing those words spoken by a friend to me when she asks me for a favor. I hate the fact that someone might not ask me to help them because they think I’m too busy for them. It really burdens me. Not because I want to be everything to everyone, but I believe that friendship is a two way street, and if I can’t be there for a friend then I’m not being a very good one.
For the past week or so I’ve been reading the book Crazy Busy. It was recommended by a friend and then one of the pastors of our church gave me a copy. It’s short and easy to read. Well, easy in the fact that it’s a short book. Hard in the fact that it’s so true to our lives today. There is so much wisdom in this book about how busy our lives are and why we allow them to be that way.
So often in the midst of busyness, joy is lacking. I run from errand to errand, sometimes forgetting to eat and just trying to get it all done. Where’s the joy? Of course, things have to get done but it’s important to remember the joy in the midst of it.
busyness can ruin our joy – As Christians, our lives should be marked by joy (Phil. 4:4), taste like joy (Gal. 5:22) and be filled with the fullness of joy (John 15:11). Busyness attacks all of that.
When life gets busy, it’s important for me to remember why I’m doing all of the things that I’m doing. This is reiterated in the book. Kevin lists many possible reasons for our busyness and pride really hit the nail on the head for me (as well as a few of the others). Why am I so busy? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it so that I can have something to post on Instagram and make people think I’m so cool or wonderful or whatever? Am I being prideful in my busyness?
manifestations of pride: posting – It doesn’t matter how big or small our following; we can turn Facebook and Twitter into outposts for our glory. Or, we can wear what others will think if we don’t show up for hours, days or weeks.
In thinking about the motivation behind the things that I do, I’m going to start asking myself if I’m trying to do good or look good.
As I try to discern what’s people-pleasing, self-aggrandizing pride, and what’s genuine service to others, I try to keep in mind this simple question: Am I trying to do good or to make myself look good?
It’s okay to say “no” to good things, because not everyone has the same gift. For example, I am not gifted in a way to be a room mom at my kids school. Yes, I have done it before but that’s because I want my kids to feel loved in that way. It was important to them. But being a room mom or on the PTO is not my gift. Thankfully, there are tons of other men and women who DO have this gift and can really focus on the students and doing fun things for the kids at their school. Saying “no” to something because it’s not your gifting is okay…do you hear that? IT’S OKAY. Just find your gifts and use them, while still remembering to ponder what the motivation is behind your saying “yes”.
We have different gifts and callings. We need Christians who spend their lives improving inner-city schools and Christians whose dream is to get great theological books translated into Polish. And we need Christians who don’t make others feel guilty (and don’t feel guilty themselves) when one of us follows a different passion than another.
When we do say “yes” and life gets crazy…let’s take a deep breath. Let’s continually reassess why we’re doing the things that we do and change anything that needs to change. Read this book, I know you’ll be blessed by it. Kevin is real and he’s a self-described busy addict. He wrote this book in order to help himself first, which I admire. This last quote made me chuckle because I think it’s so true…what do you think?
We want to complexity our lives. We don’t have to, we want to. We want to be harried and hassled and busy. Unconsciously, we want the very things we complain about. For if we had leisure, we would look at ourselves and listen to our hearts and see the great gaping hole in our hearts and be terrified, because the hole is so big that nothing but God can fill it.
What are you trying to fill that God sized hole with?