Unchecked Busyness

Have you realized that busyness typically results in crowding out the really important things in your life?

That’s what’s slowly started happening to me. As more and more was added to my plate — much of it completely beyond my control, including some things I would love to have avoided! — I found myself getting increasingly weary. Gratefully, there were times when the added responsibilities or heartaches drove me to my knees in desperation. I didn’t want the urgent to crowd out the important. But over time, and as  heart-consuming circumstances built up, I started pushing things that have been important to me aside.

  • My devotional times were too often dutiful…and shorter.
  • Month by month, I started relying on eating out or throwing together thoughtless meals, delaying household chores or finding reasons why I just couldn’t “get to” things because of other duties I chose to take care of.
  • While I continued to enjoy planning, cleaning and cooking for family celebrations and holidays (with all 25 of us in the house…love it!), I began to lack motivation and planning for the normal stuff of being a wife, mom and homemaker.
  • New recipes and even weekly meal planning lessened to the point that I was winging it on a regular basis.
  • Little duties related to my “normal” life started piling up as the urgent things filled more of my thoughts and time.  Rather than taking care of things in a rhythmic and timely manner, I regularly felt I was playing catch up.
  • Computer use increased as I found “escape” in Facebook, Pinterest and internet research.
  • Time with Benny became focused on the growing list of pastoral firestorms, family issues, anxieties about the future or even the fun of planning our daughter’s wedding or a family vacation — rather than on our communication and friendship.  (His patience with me continues to amaze me!)
  • Prayer became a series of “Lord, help!” cries rather than tender and leisurely interactions with Him. While those S.O.S cries were a demonstration of my dependence on Him, the “rush” of my life encroached on the most prized relationship in my life.
You can see how I was drifting, can’t you? What was deceiving about it is that most everything I was doing was for others, and there were still moments of genuine joy through the process. Because my drifting was slow and “explainable” I didn’t notice it until I took the time to sit with Him with open ears.
Why is it that busyness tempts many of us to neglect the very things that energize and help us?  There are certainly times in our lives where normal responsibilities and needs legitimately must be set aside for urgent, unusual needs. But what made me think that continuing to drift wasn’t going to be something I would regret?
I hope my story encourages any of you who can identify with my season of drifting. You see, God is faithful. He never allows His children to drift too far. Even when we are blind, He sees. While we are wandering through our pressured and busy lives becoming weary and discouraged, He is focused and protective. The grace that drew us to salvation is the same grace that grows and changes us.
What kindness.