You don’t have to go far to find busy people. I look at my calendar and I feel busy. Now I don’t say that to suggest any sense of self-importance. Rather, when I look at a day and see that I am committed to be in a certain place or see a certain person, that represents time and energy that is flowing somewhere.
Now think about seven days like that. These days have a way of compounding so that a busy day becomes a busy week which becomes a busy month.
I look at my calendar and realize:
- I have phone calls to make and various individuals that I need to meet with.
- I need to get the oil changed in my car.
- I need to check out getting a new computer for our house.
- Several bills are due. (Even paying these online still requires some energy and attention.)
- I have to take my car to the body shop to get an estimate.
Now I am no busier than anyone else. However, my days do feel busy. There is a lot going on. If I am not careful, I can become very busy without really ever living. It is something that I have to watch very closely.
Maybe you resonate with these words from Mark Buchanan in his book The Rest of God:
Most of us feel utterly ransacked. We are waylaid by endless demands and stifling routines. Even our vacations have a panicky, task-like edge to them. "If I only had more time," is the mantra of our age. But is this the real problem?
Widely acclaimed author Mark Buchanan states that what we’ve really lost is "the rest of God — the rest God bestows and, with it, that part of himself we can know only through stillness." We have forgotten the ancient wisdom, rooted in God’s own rhythm of work and rest, of Sabbath. Sabbath is elixir and antidote. It is a gift for our sanity and wholeness — to prolong our lives, to enrich our relationships, to increase our fruitfulness, to make our joy complete. Sabbath restores our bent and withered parts.
I suspect that what many busy people really want is a place to be quiet and rest — a place to commune with God. I suspect that what many busy people want is a pause that is long enough for the self to be able to think and feel deeply.