There’s a truly beautiful woman I know who, up until a few months ago, always gave me the same reply or a slight variation of it whenever I’d ask how she was.
She’d respond, “Oh, busy, busy!” or “Busy, busy, busy!”
One day I gently took her hand, looked her in the eye, and said, “I don’t want to know how busy you are. Tell me how you are.” She laughed, told me she was great, and has never again mentioned how busy she is.
Truth: There is no glory or real value in being busy, busy, busy.
Being busy and productive are great things, but we can be busy and accomplish nothing. I worked with someone like that many years ago. She was always “busy, busy, busy,” but she never accomplished much.
We can also be too busy to hear the voice of God and what the Spirit is telling us. We need to SLOW down and listen. In other words, we need to be still and know that God is God. We need to connect with Him on a deep level.
I think it’s commonplace in many churches that there are a lot of busy people doing various ministries. Women (and men) plunge into Bible studies, sign up to feed the homeless, volunteer to teach the children. Add these good deeds and growth opportunities to an already packed work and family schedule, and there’s little time left for important self-care, much less for the One who gives us another day of life. No wonder people are stressed! We need balance… and connection to our Creator.
On a regular basis, we just need to BE.
The Gospel writers tell us of many times when Jesus withdrew to be alone. In times of discernment, in times of grief, in times of being busy, the Master Himself went away by himself to be with His Father.
The 14th chapter of Matthew gives two examples of Jesus’s need to BE. After John the Baptist’s disciples tell Jesus of John’s beheading, He “withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” He was grieving. Shortly after, a hungry and growing crowd of about 5,000 followed Him. After miraculously multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish to feed that vast crowd, what did He do?
Matthew writes that Jesus dismissed the crowd and his disciples and “went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” I imagine He was a bit exhausted.
The psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NIV)
David, who penned many psalms and who certainly was a man on the run (a busy man!), wrote, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” (Psalm 23: 2-3, NIV) Note he didn’t write that God makes us run through green pastures or lie beside roaring waters…
Now, truthfully, I was an avid runner years ago, and I thought a lot about God as I ran. I also find sitting beside a mountain waterfall or rushing river a very spiritual place and truly restorative.
But we must seek quiet to connect. We certainly find God in scripture, and we see Him in other people and in His magnificent creation; but we must be still, shut out the noise, and really think about our Creator and our being in Him.
And how do you do this with a packed day or a house full of people?
You make being with God a priority. Key words: Make and Priority. You make a daily date with God, and you keep that date. You find your special place in the house or outside or on your lunch break, and you just BE. Ten minutes a day, any time of day… simple and SO powerful in restoring your being and listening to God’s nudges. No background music, no phones, nothing… just you and God.
Be still. Listen. Connect.
Restore your soul, and you just may find you are more productive than you were when you were so busy, busy, busy!
Amy Walton is a Virginia Beach-based certified life coach and Christian life coach, speaker, and writer. She loves hiking, walking, lifting weights, yoga, and… being still and knowing. Looking to create some balance in your life or grown in your faith? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at http://www.amywaltoncoaching.com.