Letter 38: Being Busy

My Son,

 

Busyness is the buzzword of our society. Busy, busy, busy! If someone asks how you have been, the common response seems to be “busy.” Busyness is seen as evidence that one’s life has purpose. This is simply not true.

Busyness is overrated, my son. Jesus taught us to rest and take time to be with the Father. He taught us to come to him for rest and to lay our burdens at his feet. He also warned us not to become tied up with the cares of this world, and thus be like seed planted among thorns. The thorns choked the seed as it was trying to grow.

I’ve noticed this tendency toward busyness in my own life. Everyone around me rushes around every day and every night. Even on the “restful” weekends, we seem to schedule so many events, or make so many commitments, that we are ensnared to a busy lifestyle 24/7.

Many also become workaholics, as discussed previously, being so addicted to work that they can never quite shut it out. I know people who check work emails even while on vacation. When will they ever take a break? I intentionally try to disconnect from nearly every form of technology and communication on vacation so that I cannot be reached while I’m gone. Gaining rest is necessary to sustain quality work over time.

Coinciding with being addicted to work is an addiction to the cell phone. People, myself included, are so addicted to looking at their phone that they unknowingly check their phones nearly every 30 seconds. They will constantly check if someone’s texted them or if they have any Facebook notifications. They will even check these things while driving!

So, how do we break free from the busyness? I think what we need to do, my son, is to use our cell phones in moderation, limit our work to the workday hours as best as we can, find times where we can sit in silence and be still before God throughout the day, disconnect from technology on vacation, take a Sabbath day of rest once per week, and go on retreats every so often.

I’m writing this to you as a warning. Be aware that the devil wants to get you ensnared into a rat race that will eventually strip away true enjoyment and meaning from your life. The devil wants to distract you from living a life of rest in God. Please take time to breathe, to enjoy, to be nourished, to love, and to laugh. Jesus came to give you life to the full, and that full life is infused with peace and rest. May you enter into God’s rest amidst our busy culture.

 

Love,

Dad

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