Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Too Busy

Fr. Dale Matson
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matt. 11:28, NASB).

I have heard the statement, “I’m too busy” quite often over the years. Frequently people will greet me with, “Are you keeping busy”? My response is, “I’m not into busy”. In fact, God has commanded that we rest at least one day a week. The time God allots us is a resource and like any other resource we are obligated to be good stewards. In the church time is sacred.

I believe it is possible to be both spontaneous and disciplined. For example a musician is allowed a cadenza within a musical piece or a figure skater has a free program following compulsory requirements. In both examples however there is a matter of self-discipline. Without discipline neither individuals would have achieved mastery, no matter how gifted. It is a matter of prioritization of time.

So, why are individuals so busy? Why is life so often a matter of putting out a fire over here and heading to the next fire over there? There are a number of factors. “Busy” has a false prestige to it. Most people would rather be Martha’s. It is a way of avoiding being intentional and attentive like Mary. It is also a means of avoidance and an alibi for poor or non-performance. Busy is a way to deal with anxiety and loneliness. People are good at filling their lives with distractor tasks. Multitasking is just a new name for busy.

I am not saying that time is somehow more holy in a monastery then on main street because it isn’t. It is merely a matter of taking the time to listen to God the Holy Spirit speak to us in all things. It is including God in all of our activities in a continual silent dialogue. A life lived intentionally for Christ is prayer without ceasing. A busy life that does not include God is a clanging cymbal and a noisy gong.

In today’s world there is great pressure to live a busy life. Even taking a restorative nap is seen as a venial sin. Busy is not important; it is undisciplined. Busy is a lame excuse for interrupted conversation. Busy is mindless and anhedonic activity. Busy is form with no content. Busy is a vacant expression lacking ears to hear.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29, KJV).

No comments: