“How are things going?” is a common question for so many people in the US. It’s a conversation starter.
And one of the most common answers there are is “Busy.” That’s a real shame.
Busy isn’t a good thing. Busy means you are running around constantly without time to reflect or process anything you are doing. Busy means you are physically tired. And if you are physically tired, I can’t help but wonder what your mental or spiritual or emotional state is.
Busy is the norm in the 21st century in the US. We’re always doing things, because there’s just so much to do. Although, I have to wonder, what’s so important that we have to constantly be in motion. Or constantly subject ourselves to noise. Or constantly be connected.
But busy isn’t what we are called to – not as a constant presence in our lives. There will be times when we are busy – going on all cylinders. But those times should be short spurts, not long marathons. Busy leads to burn out. Busy is a distraction from so much – from family, from health, from dealing with our demons, etc.
I’ll end with a section that has been attributed to the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis – one of the great theologians. (Although I couldn’t find it in the book, so I have the link to where I found this. Either way, the point holds)
“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds, “he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade them to work for long hours, to work 6 – 7 days a week, 10 – 12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work.”
“Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR CDs and their PCs going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”
“Fill the coffee table with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services, and false hopes.”
“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week.
Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.”
“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.”
“Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”
It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.