The Busyness Trap

BusynessIt’s that time of year. April 15th is only a week away. My CPA recently told me that the “normal” hours no longer exist during this season. Days begin early and often go until 2 a.m., leaving only a few hours to rest before beginning again. Thankfully, that doesn’t continue throughout the year. But that conversation struck a cord with me as I have been battling my own to-do list lately.

Life has its seasons. Not just the four seasons, but seasons that relate to a stage of change or of responsibilities, schedules and activity. Those seasons are not always predictable. Life seems to be running smoothly and then, you look at your calendar and find that there just don’t seem to be enough hours to get it all done. I’ve been in one of those seasons lately. It can be frustrating. But God has recently given me some needed insight into this season of busyness.

First of all, I have discovered that I have become a victim of the digital age. Technology is a wonderful tool, but it also has its dangers. One of those is the threat of encroachment – the fact that we are always available to our work and to others. My digital devices can set and control my schedule. As a result, there is little opportunity for rest or quiet periods that leave room for our minds and spirits to take some needed sabbatical hours. As a result, I don’t start the day with a renewed joy because I never really left work. I left the office, but not work. I stayed connected, even working while semi-engaged in what is supposed to be a relaxing time at home. So I have a hard time getting back to work the next day because I never really left work. It becomes a cycle that wears me down and makes me less productive while constantly working. Pascal once said, “I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” In our digital age, that statement is more true than ever. I have too often bought the lie of believing that every possible moment must be given to getting the work done and being constantly available. But the truth is, a schedule that allows for some time away from my work will allow me to focus on work when I should be working. Staying plugged in makes me less effective, not more.

The second lesson is a reminder of the fact that my plans are not the ones that matter most. Yes, I should have plans and goals. But I also need margin in my schedule which allows for the unexpected that God brings into my day. Psalm 146:4 says, “When his breath departs, … on that very day his plans perish.”  One day my life will end and my plans will perish as well. When that day comes I don’t want my legacy to be the fact that I was a busy man. I want it to be a legacy that demonstrates the value of knowing Christ and enjoying life in the pursuit of His plans. I want His to-do list to dominate my calendar. When that happens, frustration gives way to fulfillment. That’s the season I want to live in. How about you?

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