Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the busyness of life? Do you know why you should say no to busy? What does that even look like?
Memories Of Being Carefree
It’s summer, and I love everything that comes with it. I love the smell of hamburgers cooking on the grill, the tingle of sun-kissed skin after a long day of swimming, gardens filled with the hope of fresh vegetables soon, and the memories of being a carefree kid during summer.
This week I saw two of my little neighbor girls sitting on a blanket, giggling and eating a popsicle. They were so carefree. So simple. So happy. It brought me back to being a kid myself in the 80s. The highlight of my summers were Disney popsicles and summer reading at the library. I was pulled from my daydream and jerked back into reality as my phone began to chime over and over. It was text messages and email reminders for everything my kids either needed to do or needed to sign up to do soon. I don’t know when we got to this place, but this summer my daughter had 3 open gym times for 3 separate sports, all in one day, and that was just school-related sports.
On To The Next Activity
It seems that being busy has become the new norm. Whether you are single, married, have children, or are an empty nester, you need to have a full schedule. You need to have picture-worthy date nights, vacations your friends envy, and hobbies to post about. Your kids need to be scouted by a reputable college at their little league game, and one sport or activity must now overlap the previous one. There is no room for downtime, and the busy days leave little time for more than a frozen pizza or drive-through dinner at the end of a long night.
We are subconsciously fed the message that we need to do more, be more, and accomplish more. The “world” has figured out how to make us believe this lie. Algorithms are designed specifically to know what we want, what we think, what we fear, and what we desire in a matter of clicks. It’s so subtle we don’t even realize it’s happening. We are all on one big lazy river!
Have you ever been on a lazy river? I will say it’s relaxing for a while. You lay back on a raft, and the current takes you. No effort is necessary on your part. You can even close your eyes and get some sun. Everyone is moving in the same direction, at the same speed, and at the same time. Then comes the moment you are ready to get out. You see the stairs coming, and you hop off your raft, but you miss it. You now have to walk against the current, pushing against other rafts, to make it to the steps to get out of this lazy river.
Turn Off The Autopilot
That is how I see this current season of life. Everything from audible books, to razors, to pre-packaged meals, has an “autopilot” option. Vendors want you to lock into something, so you don’t need to give it a second thought. It’s all taken care of. It’s very passive, and can be very dangerous in our spiritual life.
If we are not alert to what we are passively saying yes to, then we become another floater on the lazy river. Being a follower of Christ, especially during this time in history, takes action on our part. If you are going to be a person who follows Jesus, you WILL look different from those around you. Even more difficult, if you are raising a family who follows Jesus, you will look different from those around you and that is rarely going to be easy.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13:
“Enter the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Distractions Lead To Destruction
The enemy knows he cannot steal our salvation, but he can distract us. He can avert our eye from God and put it on the things of the world. Many times the things that distract us are not bad per se, the problem lies when those things get priority over God. The world makes it so easy to just enter the wide gate that leads to destruction. Heck, the world will even install a lazy river, so you can float right through the gate.
I challenge you to hop off your raft! Climb out of the lazy river and make an active decision to participate in the life God wants you to have, not the busy life that the world says will bring you peace, satisfaction, and success.
Say no to busy. Clear up your calendar. Dare to have enough time to be bored, rest, and listen to God’s still small voice.
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10