I know you only have two minutes, so I’ll be brief. In fact, don’t even bother reading any further.
But please stop using your busyness as an excuse.
I’m afraid that busyness has become a crutch for a leg that really isn’t broken.
In fact, busyness is the very thing that is ruining our lives.
Busy is Robbing You Blind
I have come to loathe the word busy with every ounce of my being. Yet in every relationship, that word seems to dominate the conversation. I think our culture has settled for busy and we pat ourselves on the back for having a full schedule.
When I ask a friend how he’s doing: “I’ve been really busy.”
When I finally connect with a client to review their account: “I’m sorry for not calling you back, I’ve been busy.”
When my kids ask if I want to go play: “I am busy today, buddy. Maybe tomorrow.”
What if busy is just another synonym for average?
Are we really busy or is that just a lame excuse for justifying the things we simply don’t want to do?
I wrote a book about living a rich life—a life full of gratitude, generosity, and humility. But I’m learning that one of the greatest adversaries of a rich life is busyness. Its deception threatens to rob us of true life with each passing minute. This is precisely why we wake up and realize that weeks, months, or years have flown by, our kids have grown up way too fast, and opportunities have passed us by.
C. S. Lewis said this:
“It is all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is at hand.”
He’s suggesting that the Enemy keeps us busy in the familiar while unfamiliar eternal joy passes us by each day.
The Opposite of Busy
We often think the answer to being less busy is minimalism. Less is more, right?
Perhaps if we decommit or learn to say no, then we’ll be less busy and therefore able to live more fully. If we come up with a clever six-step process, then we will somehow conquer busyness. If we can download the latest efficiency app, that will do.
While those tactics will help, they’re like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound and will never fully free us from the mindset of busyness. Instead, we must attack busyness by becoming an expert in its opposite quality.
We must fight busyness by choosing to be present.
Busyness removes me from a situation, Presence draws me in.
Busyness tells me to focus on myself, Presence reminds me to focus on others.
Busyness tells me to think of all that isn’t, Presence reminds me to appreciate what is.
Busyness tell me that I have more to do, Presence calls me to rest.
One of the most paradoxical commands in all of scripture occurs as God’s people, the Israelites, are on the run from the Egyptians and Pharaoh’s army.
As the Israelites are pressed against the Red Sea, they begin crying out in fear, looking for a way out. Their leader, Moses, tells them this:
“You need only to be still.” —Exodus 14:14
What a foolish command in the face of an approaching army. It makes no sense. While the voice of busyness says, “Do something!” The voice of God says, “Be still.”
Curiously, as that story unfolds, God does His work. He parts the Red Sea, carries his people across, and conquers Pharaoh’s army.
If you’re lost in busyness today, I hope you would choose to be present—to be still, and rest.
It will take courage, it will demand a different mindset, but it will also provide you with an opportunity to trust God.
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Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking