Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 21, 2014

Thought for the Week October 26, 2014

 

Focus on the Family has a ministry called Thriving Pastor, which exists “to encourage and inspire you (pastors) and your ministry families with resources and services that can help bring balance to both your personal and professional lives.” They send me a weekly email that had a piece this week written by Brady Boyd, Senior Pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, entitled, Are You Addicted To Busy? The article caught my eye and spoke to me because it addressed what I consider one of the areas of my life where I need improvement. I want to share some of his thoughts because you may need it, too.

Boyd writes, “Five years into my marriage, my wife met me at the door with her bags packed. I should have seen it coming. I had packed my life with jobs and positions and commitments out of my deep-seated need to be needed. I was too busy, and the gentle, calm woman I’d married five years prior had decided she would rather be single than be married and do life all alone. ‘Pam,’ I said, my voice low and my words slow, ‘If you will stay here tonight—if you will agree not to leave tonight—I will walk in tomorrow and resign.’ The red rims around her eyes told me she’d been crying all afternoon. ‘No, you won’t,’ she challenged. ‘You won’t.’ I asked for 24 hours, to prove that I’d make good on my plan. And by that time the following day, I had resigned every last role. That was one of the first times I realized I have a problem: I’m addicted to being busy.”

Boyd says that it’s not just him. He suggests that every problem of everyone he knows is ultimately because they are moving too fast for too long in too many aspects of life. I see this in myself and, when I think about it, this may be one of the roots of problems many people share with me.

Boyd goes on, “We think if we can keep going, keep busy, keep plowing ahead, our conscience won’t have time to catch us because—ha, ha!—we’ll already be long gone. And the reality is this approach actually works. But only for a time.” Eventually the busyness causes problems – maybe not as drastic as he faced with his wife – but problems nonetheless. If we don’t learn to slow down the results can be disastrous.

Even though he has recognized, as I do, his leaning towards busyness, Boyd says it is easy to get caught up again in “the tempting buzz of busy living.” So he has found some signs that tell him when things are getting out of hand and says, “If you lean toward over-scheduled and under-rested, consider these danger signs of a busyness addiction:”

1) “You Feel Like You’re in Your Glory When You’re Busiest. This really should be the first clue that something is amiss.” He says it’s because we like how success feels so we don’t want to unplug or relax. For me, I get the sense that if I relax, what needs to be done will never get done and somehow feel that I’m the man that must do it. I think that’s the time that I need to “be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. It’s not that God doesn’t want me to work and be busy but to recognize that I’m not the most important part of the program.

2) “You’re More Fascinated With Gadgets Than With God. I got to work a few days ago and realized I’d left my phone at home. I think I was more distraught than if I’d misplaced one of my children. ‘How am I going to get through this day without my phone?’ I thought. A different kind of call was coming in, even as I searched for the device. It was a call from God: ‘Come to me, and I will give you rest.'” The Lord spoke to him three more times before he paused to think it may be God’s voice but right at that time he heard a ding from his phone, which had been in his laptop bag the entire time, alerting him of a new text message. Boyd says that instead of coming aside for some time with the Lord he went right for the text. I could be critical but how many times have I chosen to check email, answer a text, read internet news, or whatever when I could be relaxing in God’s presence? Boyd says, Technology is not a bad thing in itself, but when we’re more tuned into our iPhone alerts than to our Creator, it’s a problem.”

3) “Your Favorite Compliment Has Become, ‘Wow. You’re Always so Busy.’ I have a theory on this, which is that busyness is our means to impress. If I’m busy, then I’m important, and if I’m important, then you’ll be impressed…I’ll feel like I matter. Impression management becomes a full-time job, and it’s exhausting.” Could anything be more convicting? Much of my busyness is likely a result of my own pride. I want others to notice so I’ll feel worthwhile. Do you know that we don’t have to impress God to be accepted? He accepts us in Jesus when we trust Him. Why don’t we trust Him with our time and activity?

4) “You Don’t Have Time for the Ones You Love. These days…I don’t let things get that far. But still there are times when I can see in my wife’s weary gaze that I’ve been pushing and driving too hard.” Boyd says, and I agree, that the worst warning sign is the one that says, “You’re hurting the ones you most love.”

Pastor Boyd ends his article with some advice: “For some people, it takes a world-rocking tragedy or the loss of everything they hold dear in order to finally learn how to slow down, to tend to their souls, to rest. I hope that won’t be true for you. I’m resolving…to go down a different path, a path paved with rest and peace. Consider this: God is not merely a peaceful person; God, in fact, is peace. When you and I sit in God’s presence, we’re sitting in the presence of peace…when we… actually stay there, quiet, still…we come away with steadied souls…we can become people of peace. This is why God’s invitation is so profound…to come to Him to find our rest: He can actually deliver on what He promises, something the world never will be able to do. I want this type of restfulness. We slow down—to rest, to contemplate, to lollygag with God—because slow can pay serious dividends, for our bodies, for our minds, for our souls.”

I like that last part because so often, I need that kind of rest but don’t do it. What about you? Can you identify any difficulties you have faced at work, in school, in your relationships such as marriage or parenting, in spiritual growth, etc., that ultimately could be traced back to you being too busy to take the time to do what is needed and right? Do you ever find yourself too busy to spend time with God and His Word? What could you do about that so that the difficulties could turn into solutions? How could you break that addiction? I’m working on it? You?

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