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SHADOWS & LIGHTS

BEING BUSY IS NOT COOL ANYMORE

When I run into friends and acquaintances, they will usually ask me, “How’ve you been?”

5 January 2014 Sunday 08:19
by ÖZNUR ÇEVİK

When I run into friends and acquaintances, they will usually ask me, “How’ve you been?” My reply is often, “Busy,” or “You know, keeping my head above water,” or “Keeping all the plates spinning.” Why do I answer like this?

Sure, it’s a way of saying that I am diligent in all my various duties, but more likely it is a way to proudly state that I am significant.

I like to be busy and I like to brag that I am busy.

Everyone is busy, in different sorts of ways. Maybe you have lots of clients, or are starting a new business, or are taking care of your children. The point is this: with limited time and unlimited demands on that time, it’s easy to fill your plate with activities constantly. But this doesn’t mean that you should.

As it turns out, always being busy isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect anymore. Among many reasons for this, there are a few that stand out to me.

It can actually be a sign of an inability to manage our lives well. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, few people have a legitimate need to be busy ALL of the time. For the rest of us, we simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize correctly, or say no.

It can be indicative of a lack of confidence and self-worth. Often we stay busy to subconsciously feel important and valuable to the world around us. Sadly, this points to an ignorance of our inherent value, in that regardless of our performance in life, we are important, loved and valuable. This slippery slope typically makes us too uncomfortable with ourselves or the reality of our lives to slow down.

Busy often keeps us from the finer things in life. Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a time, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of the rat race and more time actually living.

I am starting to figure this out: My significance, though properly tied to the good work that I do for God’s glory, must not be ultimately determined by how busy I am in doing so. God is not asking me to be so busy that I don’t have time for relationships.

I am notoriously guilty of tapping away on this laptop at my living room instead of spending time with my children or taking a leisurely walk with my dog. Today I saw an old friend at the grocery. My first inclination was to groan inwardly – “I am too busy to talk! I’ve got to write this column about how being busy is not cool!” Ironic, isn’t it? We had a great talk, deep and intense, about very important things. I should never be too busy for that.

So first resolution of the year is for one month, I’m going to stop using the word “busy.” I’m going to resist the comfort of it to try and dig deeper to explain how things really are. If I feel busy, my hope is to be aware enough to discover why and to learn how I can change it.

Until next week keep cool and healthy!


Tags: BEING BUSY IS NOT COOL ANYMORE, BEING, BUSY, IS, NOT, COOL, ANYMORE
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