IN SPITE OF OR BECAUSE OF (Addressing Busyness)

Disclaimer :This is a blog entry of an anonymous person. I really love his point of view that's why I post it here.

We have this misconception that if we are not physically doing anything, we are either an idle or a lazy person.  Our minds reject the thought that we are either lazy or idle.  So, we tried to fill our day with activities to make us appear we are busy. 
There is nothing wrong about being busy.  Paul, in Ephesians 4:28b, encourages us to do something with our hands that we may have something to share to our sisters and brothers in need.  Paul also warned the Thessalonian church about idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13).  He said in verse 10 that “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
In this fast-paced life, where everybody’s running from one direction, to the other, it is not hard to be pushed to be busy.  However, busyness, like other things, when present in excess is not good.  Excessive busyness results in the following:
·         It robs us of a deep connection with God.  How can we be sensitive to God’s voice if we are always on-the-go?  Let’s consider Martha in Luke 10:38-42 as an example.  When she grumbled to Jesus regarding the “physical idleness” of Mary, Jesus’ response was:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

·         It robs us of quality time with family and friends.  Moses emphasized in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 the necessity of family time. 

·         It will eventually result in failure. The Old Testament prophet Haggai explained to the Israelites why all their efforts fail (Haggai 1:5-9).  They fail in their endeavours because they are so busy running after their personal desires and have neglected what is more important – God’s temple.

We are totally aware of the repercussions of our excessive busyness.  But somehow, our flesh gets the better of us.  Some common reasons why people get busy are:
·         The illusion of getting ahead
·         The sense of being important or known as highly productive
·         The feeling of being in control of your future
We know that all of these reasons are lies planted by the enemy on our heads to cause us to neglect our fellowship with God, our family and friends.  So what should we do?  Outlined are some steps that we could follow in helping us to strike a balance between busyness and rest.
1.       Know your priorities
Quite a simple step to follow but most of the time it is difficult to accomplish.  How should we know what to prioritize? Let’s look at the best example of all – Jesus. WWJD, that is, What Would Jesus Do? I derived the next few paragraphs from my Prayer Devotional Bible

Mark 1: 21-35 tells of the events in the ministry of Jesus Christ.  In verse 35, Jesus got up very early in the morning, went to a place of solitude and prayed to His Father.  Prior to this event, Jesus’ day had been full and demanding.  He started off the day teaching in the Capernaum synagogue. He healed a demon-possessed man who interrupted Him while He was teaching.  Then, He went home with Peter and Andrew and healed Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick in bed with a fever.  People came from miles around to be healed because they heard of His miraculous power.  Jesus must have been so tired when He finally went to bed that night.  But He was up very early the next morning to pray.

Was Jesus up early to pray in spite of what He had been doing the day before or because of what He had been doing?  Clearly, Jesus needed to speak with His Father BECAUSE OF what He had been doing.  There was too much at stake for Him to miss communion with God.  For Jesus, to pray was to be restored and refocused.  He had done His Father’s will the previous day.  In order to face another hectic day, He needed guidance from the Father.

What about us?  Do our schedules determine our prayer life, or do our prayer lives determine our schedule?  Are we too busy to pray or too busy NOT to pray?  Who dictates our priorities?  Jesus depended solely on the Father for direction (John 5:19-20, 30). 

Matthew 6:33 summarizes the first step.  Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

2.       Learn to say NO
Most people have a natural desire to be liked by others.  So, we tend to say YES to other people even to our own detriment.  Saying NO is not plainly saying NO.  It’s about saying YES to our priorities and values and saying NO to things that are not.

3.       Reject the burden of perfectionism
Perfectionism plays a large part in our addiction to busyness.

4.       Get help when and where you need it
Pride hinders us from asking help from other people.  At times, our failure to avail of the help offered to us deprives others of a blessing in the process (Philippians 4:16; 2 Corinthians 8:4).

Other than pride, shyness and fear of rejection hinder us from asking help from others.  At times, ironically, the person we fear imposing on is often the more opened to helping us.  We can never know unless we ask.  And most of the time the results are wonderfully inspiring.

As summary, in doing anything, remember to do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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