“Busyness can ruin our joy. As Christians, our lives should be marked by joy (Philippians 4:4), taste like joy (Galatians 5:22), and be filled with the fullness of joy (John 15:11). Busyness attacks all that. One study found that commuters experience greater levels of stress than fighter pilots or riot police… There’s no doubt that when our lives are frantic and frenzied we are more prone to anxiety, resentment, impatience, and irritability.” – Kevin DeYoung in Three Dangers of Being Crazy Busy.
It is easy to find yourself rushing through life and going from one thing to the next. You are always thinking ahead and planning for the future and what needs to get done. What assignments do you have due? What project do you need to finish? Did you drink water today? Your head is filled with questions and to-do lists and constantly in the process of checking things off. You hardly ever just sit down and do nothing. Even when it looks like you are just relaxing, you are thinking of everything you need to do.
However, when it is all said and done, these seemingly “important” things aren’t bringing you any joy. They are just filling your head with chaos. The truth is that this hectic rush of life we experience isn’t unique to our generation, although it probably seems that way. So what is the secret to change? How do I unrush my life?
To make the most out of life, we need to be focused on what matters: our relationship with God, our relationships with others, and fulfilling the unique purpose for which God created us and placed us here on this earth. Every day is rich with possibilities. So many opportunities to make choices that will take me down one of two paths. Either I will speed along at 100 miles an hour and slow down and focus on what really matters.
Jesus sets the standard for focusing on what is important. In Luke 13:22-24 (MSG) we read: “He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem. A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?” He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention.”
Jesus was subject to all the pressures we are and yet remained completely disciplined, always giving His time to what was ultimately most important. Jesus spent his whole life choosing to do the most important thing at any given moment. He stopped to heal the sick when they crossed his path. He sat on a mountainside to speak life to a waiting crowd. He prayed for children, even as His disciples scolded the people for bringing them to Him. He looked a bleeding woman, a blind man, and a beggar in the eyes and gave them personalized hope.
It is difficult to stop the drive to do more in exchange for concentrating on what is important each day. We don’t want to spend our days skimming over the significant to pursue the insignificant If we want to choose what is better, then we need to choose what is important and not just what is urgent. The secret to an unrushed life is knowing where our hope lies. When we know our hope is in God alone, we can focus on the things that matter most in life. We will understand what David means when he says that “busy rushing ends in nothing.” (Psalm 39:6) And we will hunger for more of the unrushed life God promises.
- Busyness has become a badge of honor and a cultural value. The truth is, we often feel one step behind, disorganized and overwhelmed. But “busy” just sounds better. Do you agree and why?
- Often what we are doing with our time isn’t bad or wrong, but it can be distracting to us because we let the urgent things crowd out the important things. How do you differentiate between the important and the unimportant?