Slow Down!

Slow Down!

Are you busy? Being busy is often a fault, and an easily overlooked one.

I’m not saying this because I’ve attained equilibrium, serenely watching the rest of the world struggle with busyness. No, on the contrary, I am writing – in part – to remind myself to slow down!

Excuses

Busyness is one of the easiest faults to rationalize. Have you ever given excuses like these?

  • “Jesus was busy too.”
  • “There is so much work to do.” (This one sounds particularly holy when we refer to all the spiritual needs in the world).
  • “God tells us to redeem the time.”

Answers

All of those excuses are true, but they don’t justify our excessive busyness.

  • Jesus was busy – very busy! But you are not Jesus! Not every biblical saint appeared as busy as Jesus. Besides, we are called to different things. Some people may be called to that level of activity, but certainly not everyone.
  • There is much work to do in the world – and God is sovereign in the world! His purposes will be accomplished. We are his tools, but not His ever-working Spirit.
  • God does tell us to redeem the time – but this is more an exhortation to an evangelistic lifestyle than a call to constant busyness.

Dangers

Constant busyness leads us into dangerous waters. Do you realize that…

  • …when burnout sets in, you are less effective than ever? Slow and steady is better than fast and exhausted.
  • …you set at example that may not be Christian? The western world is busy, not because it is Christian, but because it is western. Don’t imply that being a Christian means being busy. It’s probably just the westerner in you.
  • …the devil is most active when you are weakest? When I am constantly busy, I enjoy the Word of God less. I meditate less. I feel less motivated to fight sin and temptation. The devil is looking for our weak spots, and constant busyness often weakens our spiritual defenses.

Advice

David and Solomon both spoke on the topic of busyness.

David said, “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain.[1] On the final day of God’s judgment, will we look back on our busyness and see only shadows and vanity?

Solomon was a busy man, a philosopher and king of a great empire. After all his diligent philosophizing, he realized that life is simply about reverent obedience to God, and enjoyment of God’s mercies:

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.” [2]

What excuses have you given about busyness? What other Biblical writings discuss this topic?

[1] Psalm 39:6

[2] Ecclesiastes 9:7-9

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