We are a hurried and frantic people. The American culture thrives on busyness. If our lives aren’t hectic, we are viewed as either lazy or unsuccessful. The default answer I get when asking people how they are is one simple word: “busy”. I think Satan loves this. After all, Christians are now too busy to pray, too busy to read the Bible, too busy to sit quietly in God’s presence, and too busy to notice the hurting people all around us.
In short, our busyness has rendered us useless to the Kingdom of God. Even when we recognize the problem of our busyness, it isn’t long before we have rationalized our way back into our hurried lives.
The antidote is simple. We need to reject what society is dictating and retreat to a life that is slow and simple. We don’t need the pace the world demands to carry out the mission of Christ. It’s remarkable to me despite knowing He had very limited time on earth, Jesus was never in a hurry. He was keenly aware more would be accomplished living in a slow and simple rhythm than would be if He had spent His time hurriedly dashing from place to place. Jesus made time for celebrating with His friends (John 2:1-2), refused to let others dictate His schedule or agenda (Matthew 19:13-15), and sometimes took the scenic route to get where He was going (John 4:3-6).
Jesus wasn’t rushed. He wasn’t “busy” as we think of the word. He understood His mission and made certain He moved deliberately toward its completion. Amazingly, He got it all done in less than four years of ministry. When Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” He didn’t say, “I tried my best” or “I did as much as I could”. He simply said, it was finished, complete; nothing left out, forgotten, or missed.
I feel confident in saying what you feel you have to accomplish in life doesn’t come close to comparing to the task set before Christ when He came into this world. In the grand scheme of things, most of what constitutes our busyness on earth will count for very little. If what is keeping you busy is not moving the Kingdom of God forward, then you are just wasting time. No matter how many things we’ve checked off our lists at the end of the day, if we didn’t spend quality time with God and demonstrating His love towards others, we will have failed.
Instead of the badge of honor society ascribes to our busyness, it is in reality a mark of shame. Our lives should be slow and simple, just like the life of Jesus. We don’t need and shouldn’t want the things the world tells us we can’t live without. Our busyness is an excuse for our lack of discipline and commitment. It’s time to jettison those things which take time away from God and distract us from reflecting His character to the world around us. It’s time to stop making excuses. Breathe deep and live life focused on the essentials; slow and simple.