Last Monday, I opened my YouTube App and was greeted by The Skit Guys “God’s Chisel” video.
“You’re lazy, but you try to fool everybody by looking really really busy,” are the words that stood out to me from the video.
I have pondered those words for a week. A week that was filled with busyness summed up with statements like:
“I feel like I lived and entire week in a day.”
“I can only fit you in Sunday at 2 p.m.”
“I feel so overwhelmed.”
“I know you want to play Nerf, tag, or hide-n-seek, but mommy is just too tired tonight.”
Then there was the emotional breakdown on Wednesday morning as my boss (who happens to also be my pastor) stood in my office telling me, “You’ve got to stop taking so much on and start telling people ‘No’ more.”
As I sat for coffee with a friend Sunday afternoon at 2, we discussed this topic. I have struggled with this same problem for my entire adult life.
“What do you think you’re running from by staying so busy,” she asked?
Lazy? Running from?
Those aren’t words I have ever used to ponder how “busy” I often stay. But I started to put more thought into them.
My personality animal is a beaver, and just like the animal, I do enjoy staying busy. I don’t sit well. I fidget. I need checklists in my life and projects to work on. I get up earlier than I should.
As I pondered this more, I read a sermon on busyness. Two verses stood out:
Psalm 127:2 NIV, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for He grants sleep to those He loves.”
Psalm 46:10a NIV, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.”
I struggle a lot with being still and taking the time to rest that I need, and that has consequences.
I reflected on those who suffer most from my busyness …
*My daughter – whose life I have missed so much of because I have always allowed my identity at work to be more important than my role as a mom.
*My husband – who more often than not gets what is left of me instead of the best of me.
*My friends – or lack there of because I never have time to spend going out, coming over, or making a “how ya doing” call.
*My coworkers – because I often avoid building relationships, overwhelmed by too many items on a to-do list.
*My relationship with God – who as much as I claim I want to put first in my life, often ends up my “4 a.m.” and “9 p.m.” buddy I pray to when it’s convenient for me instead of Lord of my life. 🤨
As I pondered all of this, I asked myself, “Why do you stay so busy?”
At the core. I like feeling important.
“You aren’t busy because you are important, you are busy because you chose to be. You have made certain things the priority at the expense of other things, and you have the power to change your priorities.” –Matthew Kent
Thanks God for throwing those words in my face after I prayed about this all week.
Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
The Lord’s will isn’t hard to determine. He lays out in the Bible what He has called me to do. I just so often want to do what I want to do with the best of intentions but for all the wrong reasons.
The problem is, more often than not, I live in my will … a will that doesn’t serve me well. A will that is often defined by projects without purpose.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Last month I was handed a self evaluation to complete as part of the annual review process. One question on there rubbed me the wrong way. It asked me to rate how well I had done achieving my goals for the year.
Goals? I hadn’t been asked to set goals. I’d been asked to learn an entirely new job on my own with no training, while still doing my old responsibilities and training 3 different people over an interim period. But goals? Ha! The only goal was “Survive it”. But that wasn’t something I was going to put on paper.
For the last month I have stewed over the audacity to put that question on my evaluation when no one had asked me to write goals to begin with. “She failed at achieving her goals because she never set any,” I wrote as I circled the lowest score possible on the evaluation.
This morning, I realized the audacity I felt was my fault. I know the importance of goals. I used to teach a leadership class on how to write goals. And I realized I often stay way too busy because I no longer have goals in life. I just have a whole lot of competing projects and priorities and I don’t even know if they’re helping me reach a purpose.
So there’s that. What am I running from? How do I use busyness to hide laziness? What are my goals?
Maybe it’s not that I’m running from something … maybe it’s that I no longer know what I’m running to. 🤨