I’d like to introduce you to Mr Too Busy*.
Too Busy works as an accountant for the Church. He enjoys his job but the role is demanding. Most days you’ll find him working late at the office in order to stay on top of things. “It’s OK,” he says. “It’s all for the mission of the Church.”
When he’s not at work, Too Busy spends much of his time studying for his CPA exams. He also does his best to keep up with paying the bills, the household chores and his running schedule. All of this leaves Too Busy with little time to spend with his family, something he admits he “needs to work on . . . but I’m just too busy.”
Friday evening is Too Busy’s favourite time of the week. It’s really the only opportunity he has to pour himself a hot drink, sit down in his favourite armchair . . . and prepare the Sabbath School lesson he needs to teach the following morning.
One night Too Busy found himself unable to sleep. He wandered into the living room and scanned the bookshelf for something to read. One of his wife’s books caught his eye.
As he read through the chapters, Too Busy began to feel a sinking feeling. One quote in particular caught his attention.
“We want to complexify our lives. We don’t have to, we want to. We wanted to be harried and hassled and busy. Unconsciously, we want the very things we complain about. For if we had leisure, we would look at ourselves and listen to our hearts and see the great gaping hole in our hearts and be terrified, because that hole is so big that nothing but God can fill it.”1
In trying to fit so many things into our lives . . . we push out that which is most important.
It was then Too Busy realised that although his life was full, he wasn’t living a full life. Putting the book down, Too Busy stared out the window into the night sky and thought about the story of his Saviour—Mr Never Too Busy.
Never Too Busy was a Teacher and a Preacher. He also travelled a lot, often speaking to thousands of people wherever He went. Despite His schedule, Never Too Busy never complained about being too busy. Furthermore, He always made time to stop and talk to people, heal the sick and play with children.
One time a dear friend of Never Too Busy was running around frantically trying to prepare dinner. She got angry at her sister Mary for not helping, and complained about it to Never Too Busy. His reply?
“You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41,42 NIV).
Many of us display our busyness as a badge of honour. “I’m busy, therefore I’m important, valuable and worthy.” Perhaps in trying to fit so many things into our lives, however, we push out that which is most important.
So are you willing to live more by doing less? Or are you simply Too Busy?
* Not based on a real person.
1. Peter Kreeft in Crazy busy: A (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem, Kevin DeYoung, 2013.