“How are you doing?” It has become more and more common for people to answer that question with, “Good! I’m staying busy.” My personal favorite is when someone else asks me, “How are you doing? Staying busy?” They don’t even give me a chance to respond! At what point did this become a regular greeting in our culture? At what point did our value get defined by how busy we are? This lie is incessant in our culture and reeks havoc on our souls.
The Psalmist helps bring us back, once again, to the truth of what God thinks about abstract busyness. “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1) The Psalmist is telling us here that unless God is at the center, nothing will work. He also goes on the say that rest, and freedom from anxiousness and worry is completely normal. “2It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” (v. 2)
So what is our part? How do we operate in this world without getting taken over by busyness? Too bad there is not an easy answer to this. I am wired for busyness, and come from a long line of workaholics. The only way that I combat this is through Sabbath rest. I experience a little bit of Sabbath each day by being with God and God alone, and then I take one day on the weekend when we just stop. We as a family give ourselves a day to have a good balance of praying (being with God) and playing (being with others). Somehow in the midst of this all of the things that I get so busy doing, God and I, through time together, are realigned and I am calm once again.
Lie: Busyness = value and importance
Truth: God has so much more for us in the life than living hurried and worried
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1)