I’m just so busy. Too busy.
You’ve said it. I’ve said it.
We have all remarked and wondered at the level of busyness in our day to day lives. We speak about it like it is something we despise. Yet, for many, there is something comforting, something nice about busyness. In fact, a recent article in the Harvard Business Review spoke about how a busy lifestyle has become the new status symbol for Americans.
This is a complete change from the ideology of yesteryear. There was a time when a life of leisure was considered to be the highest of status symbols. The common folk just couldn’t afford vacations, trips, and time away. However, now it seems that the perception of a person of success in our era is one who puts in long hours, can’t get away from their workload, and finds no place for leisure.
The research showed that people connected social status and personal importance to how “busy” a person is. A full schedule has become so much the symbol of importance that “busy” has become the go to response for the question “How are you?”. Even celebrities are in on the trend with their social media accounts being filled with complaints of “having no life” and “desperately needing vacation”. In fact, the business world has seen such a shift to this mindset that it is becoming commonplace for employees to not use all their vacation time and even work late and weekends when not doing so is not mandatory.
Why? What is the attraction of this stress inducing, heart attack causing, relationship straining mindset? It would seem, that as individuals discover that such a lifestyle is seen as important, they develop their schedule in such a way as to inflate their own importance and perceived value in the eyes of other’s and even for their own self-esteem. In a world where status seems to be a mobile construct, if one desires to be seen as, or even feel, more important or successful, they just need to be “busier”.
Many believers, and even ministers, have found ourselves thinking in this manner. We have created the narrative that because we are doing a lot, we must be getting a lot done. However, it would do us well to remember that activity is no substitute for advancement. How often do we get to the end of a day and have done so much, yet have accomplished so little?
Exhaustion is a poor substitute for accomplishment.
This is a lesson that many, myself included, must remind ourselves of regularly. We must be intentional with our time. We must not allow ourselves to be captured by the allure of busyness.
The world already has a Savior. We just work for Him.