Busyness

On Friday, November 11, 2011, LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I am focusing my weekly blogs on the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”

Part four: busyness. Who among us can’t relate? To those entrapped and distracted by the things of this world, the Lord whispers gently to the ones he loves, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed…” (Luke 10: 38-42).

What is the status of your daily busyness? Are you consumed by the wanting, having, and doing of this world? Are you so entangled by the need to be active, productive, and effective that you’ve lost your zeal for the quieter more spacious place of listening prayer and living more attentively in partnership with God?

Unfortunately, most of us today are choosing the life of a “human doing” rather than a “human being” and we’ve been sold out to the look and feel of a materialistic society that keeps prodding us toward the muchness and manyness of this world. We’re driven almost to distraction by our constant flow of activity, noise, and chaotic confusion. From the time we awaken in the morning until the moment we lay our head on the pillow at night we are compulsively busy. We simply don’t know any other way, and we keep running on the treadmill of constant movement as long as we can sustain it.

Until we hit our wall of exhaustion and cry out “enough!” from the core of our innermost being. Eventually you (and I) will hit that wall; it’s inevitable, like a freight train moving ever so steadily downhill in exponentially frenetic speed. The sudden crash may be tragic for our soul, with the swift breeze extinguishing our inner passion for the Lord. Is it time to acknowledge your perpetual motion, drop to your knees, and cry out for God’s mercy? Is this the day you choose to follow the example of Martha’s sister Mary who “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (Luke 10: 39)?

When we lack a quiet center, without any ability or opportunity to listen for the still, small, beautiful, and inviting voice of God, we are living life consumed by the cares and concerns of this world. “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Or, What shall we wear?” (Matthew 6: 31). To such anxiety, Jesus is very clear, “The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6: 32,33).

Today, say no to unending busyness and yes to the true kingdom business of an abundant life in Christ: righteousness, joy, simplicity, and peace.