A few days ago I had a friend ask me for a favor and without really thinking about it I just responded, “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m just so busy right now”
A few hours later someone asked, “How are you?” and again my immediate response, “Just really busy.”
I mean the last couple of weeks have been… busy?
I could cart off the long list of to do’s, travels, meetings, sermons, phone calls, decisions that must be made and to be honest I really wanted to. Right here, I wanted to type it all out because I wanted you to know that I’m actually busy, I’m not just making excuses, but in truth that would continue my feeble attempt to bring justification to the very thing I’m learning to eradicate.
You might be wondering why the title says, “Busyness OR Expansion” rather than “Busyness AND Expansion”
I was talking with the Lord recently and He said, “I want to expand you, but you keep saying you’re busy”
What is it about our society that we feel more valuable if we’re “busy.” It’s as if I’ve bought into the lie that being busy means I have purpose. For some reason if I work from 7am until 5pm without a break like I did yesterday I feel better about myself than if I’m resting with minimal tasks like I am today.
I looked up the definition of busy. It means to have a great deal to do, to be occupied.
I know a lot of people who are busy, but not productive. Busy, but not doing what they want in life. Busy, but don’t have deep relationships. Busy, but not enjoying life. Honestly, they’re just… BUSY.
Productive: Achieving or producing a significant amount of result
If I’m always “busy” then why would I expect that God would want to expand my territory or influence? I’m clearly occupied with what I already have.
What if we learned not to be busy and instead learned to be productive?
I’ve been testing this out. I’m changing my language and adjusting my time management. You know the old quote, “You make time for the things that matter to you.” It is true that our habits reflect our values, so what does my “busyness” say about my values?
I’ve removed busy from my vocabulary, I no longer have a desire to be busy, but I do want to be productive. I want to have room for Him to add or to take away. I want to be able to say YES to the things He has for me and the things that bring me life, the things that reflect my values.
Today I’m not busy. In fact, I’m writing this blog still in my pajamas. I know that not everyone has total control over their schedule. I know we all have bills to pay, deadlines to meet, and responsibilities in life. Undoubtedly there are days that I just can’t control the fact that the schedule is full, but I can manage what I have control over. I can prioritize what truly matters to me. I can choose to be productive and not just “busy.” I can take away the excuse of “I’m busy” and realize that I’m actually not a victim to my schedule, in fact I’m a very active participant in how my life is structured.
Don’t buy into the lie that being busy makes you significant. I’ll end with a story.
Several years ago I went through a breakdown. I was on the couch one day totally unable to muster the energy to get up. I began to throw myself a pity party saying to God, “I’m totally useless to you. I’ll never be able to do anything for You ever again.” Without missing a beat He said to me, “Jessika you are as valuable to me laying on this couch as you are behind a pulpit or doing missions in another country”
I’ll never forget those words, but I often forget to live out that Truth. Your value to God has absolutely nothing to do with how many tasks you accomplish. Be productive. Achieve your goals. Help Others. Do great things. Change the world. But don’t buy into the false identity of being “busy”