We wear it like a trophy.
Fighting for it and empathizing about it simultaneously.
We compare schedules like battle scars, equally impressed and saddened by the trauma; feeling less than our peers if our busy doesn’t measure up, tragically wishing for wounds to prove our commitment to the war.
The absence of busy threatens us with words like lazy, useless, unpopular, and boring.
My addiction was so bad I would literally twitch for something to do.
Here’s a secret worth sharing.
Busy is not a prize to be won.
It is deception from the devil.
If he can distract us with long lists of “have to’s” he can lead us away from Jesus.
Busy is a disease I didn’t know I was infected with, yet the symptoms were obvious.
A plethora of acquaintances, but an absence of friends.
Our children have no idea how to just “be”. I wonder where they learned that as I subconsciously use my smartphone as a drug to feed my addiction, unable to wait a mere 2 minutes for anything.
I could use the time to pray, but the thought doesn’t have time to cross my mind. The “have to’s” attack full force. Have to check email, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, news feeds, blah, blah, blah.
Busy chokes out our desire for life, leaving us exhausted on couches basking in the blue glow, all too eager to zone out instead of tune in.
Busy turns us into drones, too preoccupied to consider why or what or how. Millions and millions of sheep following wolves.
Busy converts us into bobble-head dolls while the most precious people are talking about their days. Days they have to attempt to re-live for us because we were too busy to be there.
Satan has moved beyond run-of-the-mill fear and created a much more devious fear of missing out. He has used busy to steal my time away from love, my mind away from morals, and my guilt away from sin.
The devil’s most clever moments are when he convinces me it is a “good” kind of busy. The kind that masquerades as productivity and tricks my heart into thinking it’s worth it. The kind of opportunities that are so exciting I forget to ask God if they are part of His plan or mine.
Too many committees and responsibilities at church.
Too many projects at work…crowned with a coveted promotion wrapped in more busy.
Too many activities for my kids.
Too many options.
Too many dreams.
Even too many books.
We robotically encourage the addiction, our small talk revolving around comparing plans for the weekend. We eagerly spout off our long lists. Are we hoping to impress, or begging for sympathy? How often do we leave worship out of the conversation? Are we too embarrassed to mention it, or did it not even make the list?
And how awkward to admit we have nothing to do! Overheard in a parking lot: “I have nothing planned, so hopefully I’ll get a lot done!” Do we even recognize the irony?
Satan is extremely hard on women, convincing us we can have it all, spreading out the smorgasbord of possibilities so tempting we forget to ask if we even want it all.
He’s incredibly hard on men, warping what it means to provide for a family.
Busy is more than a disease, it’s an epidemic.
It has to be treated with truth. With rest. With time blocked for worship, prayer, and reading the Bible.
With treatment comes healing. An antibiotic of awareness, a vaccine against Satan’s schemes.
Be cautious when busy starts taking over.
Blink past the trophy and see the red flag.
Rest long enough to question your motives – to know if you are busy or productive, if it was something God wanted for you or something planted without your consent.
Maybe this message seems pointed and harsh.
It’s not wrapped in a fuzzy analogy or feel-good story.
That’s because God wants us all to clearly hear His message.
There is a spiritual war going on over our souls.
Satan claims his victims through deceit.
He is especially fond of using “good” things as distractions.
Just like with Eve in the garden, he continues to convince us sin is not that bad.
He drugs us with the promise of earthly gifts – success, money, possessions.
He keeps us sedated with busy.
We are his slaves, and we’re too busy to notice.
For words much wiser than mine, read King Solomon’s thoughts in Ecclesiastes 2.