This morning I read a quote from Margaret A. Miller that got my attention:
Truth seeking is also arduous. The most insidious form of sloth for me personally is busyness. Busyness impedes the business of truth. Staying too busy at daily professional tasks means not stilling the mind long enough to know what we really think, not thinking things through, not following speculation to its sometimes unwelcome conclusion, not picking at that unsatisfactory sentence until the whole piece comes unraveled.
(cited in The Truth Shall Make You Odd, Frank G. Honeycutt)
I read the entire quote several times and then focused on this single phrase:
“Busyness impedes the business of truth.”
Do you relate to this?
Years ago I was writing a paper for a graduate school class. I don’t recall the particular class or the subject of the paper. However, I do remember I did not start the paper until a week before it was due. This had been a particularly busy semester with numerous research papers assigned.
I did the research and read through some journal articles as well as located sections of several books that were important for writing this paper. I was about halfway through the paper when it occurred to me that I had no idea what I really thought about the subject. Instead, I was feeling the time pressure and, consequently, was rushing through the process.
There is no substitute for taking the time to think.
Like many of you, much of my adult life has been spent with our children. Situations arise. Problems emerge. Words are exchanged. Far too often, I have responded without really thinking through what I was about to say. Often those remarks would lead to clarification later or even trying to retract what I had said earlier.
There is no substitute for taking the time to think, especially regarding things that really matter.
There are some ideas, thoughts, hunches, insights, and inclinations that need to be placed in your mental “crockpot” long before they are written, taught, or preached. Yet, quite often we are so busy and have so much going on that we make comments and take positions long before we have really thought them through. Not everything needs to be preached next Sunday.
When someone asks how long it takes to prepare a sermon, my answer is that it sometimes takes years. Far too many sermons come out of the microwave instead of the crockpot.
What value do you see in giving yourself some time to think through things that really matter?