What Many Busy People Really Want

busy_1.jpgYou 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.

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12 thoughts on “What Many Busy People Really Want

  1. "If I am not careful, I can be busy without ever really living." A wonderful observation that speaks to me personally. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. This is why I try to sit outside every day, for at least the time it takes me to drink a cup of tea. Usually, I just close my eyes and listen, feel the air on my skin, breathe deeply. I cannot tell you how life giving this has been ever since I began the practice about a year and a half ago. It makes the "busy" part of my days more approachable.

  3. L.L.–Thanks for this.  Your practice is a reminder of the value of being still, starting slow, and paying attention to what you are experiencing.Thanks so much, L.L.

  4. Jim -Y’all please pray for all of us here in south Mississippi near the gulf coast and New Orleans as hurricane Gustav looms the next few days.Today is the third anniversary of horrendous hurricane Katrina and this one has just been projected to be even stronger.God help us all.Dee 

  5. Jim I appreciate your sermons so much and now that thay are on iTunes they are avabile  to relisten andsavor at ones leasre. I also read "A Place For The God Hungary"  faithfully.                       Thnk you again, Corydon                             

  6. I definately feel this tension and burden as the fall begins.  The glorious thing about this though (I am a student), is that I  can regain whatever routine I have lost.  While my time is more demanded, I find even planning those moments of solitude is a little easier….

  7. Dee,We have certainly prayed for those of you who are being impacted most directly by this storm.   I will be anxious to hear what the storm does or doesn’t do to the area where you live.