For many Americans, the word is busy.
We are busy working, busy playing. We are busy at home and at church, in the community and in our thoughts.
Sometimes I wonder if busy is merely a catchall term used to summarize the typical trappings of everyday life. If everyone is busy, then busy is normal, expected, common.
But busy doesn’t feel that way to me. When I have too much happening, busy feels abnormal. It’s as if my heart undergoes an allergic reaction, bucking against busy with all its might.
Life may have its typical share of busyness, but I don’t think our hearts were meant to run at such speeds.
How do we slow down? How do we listen to our hearts that cry out for a bit of slowness?
That’s what we’ll be looking at each Monday in April for The High Calling book club:. as we read Ann Kroeker’s Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families. Ann has stopped to look busy full in the face, to see it for what it is. She has found that:
“The hurried life loses its rhythm. It just pushes and pushes with no pauses, leaving barren souls, cluttered with activity but emptied of meaning.” (42)
Do you ever feel that way? Bullied by busyness, left barren by it? I have. Busy has run me around and worn me out.
It’s only when I’ve stopped to assess my life, to listen to my heart that I see where busyness tries to boss me around. I’ve excommunicated it by clearing my schedule and drawing boundaries, only to find myself back in the swing of it just months later.
Keeping tabs on busyness is an ongoing task for me. I regularly have to step back and see what’s making me spin inside and out, and put my foot down to stop the ride and keep myself of getting sick from the dizziness.
This is what Ann writes about in Not So Fast. She asks great questions:
- With all that’s filling our lives, why aren’t we more fulfilled?
- Are we too busy for God?
- Are our hearts calloused by the relentless paces and pressure of our schedules?
- Are we missing the beauty of Christ?
If the pace of your life has outpaced your heart’s capacity to rest, I invite you to grab a copy of Ann’s book and make time for it. Her words are calm waters to our frantic souls, reminding me of a song by Sara Groves titled “Just One More Thing”:
There will never be an end to • The request upon your time • It’s your place to stand up and tell the world • You’ve got to rest awhile
Busy is more than a full calendar. It’s a heart that’s tossed by every wave. So this month, I’m going to practice slowing down. I want to be busy with knowing God, resting in Him, basking in the beauty of Christ.
Want to join me? Grab a book and dig in, then come every Monday to join the discussion. Next week: Chapters 4–7.
Little Miss Busy. Digital image. Amazon.com, n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NvWSGedqL._SL500_SS500_.jpg>.