Becoming Holy

Busy! Busy! Busy!

on March 18, 2015

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I saw a challenge a while back that has stayed with me as I go about life.  The goal of the challenge was to eliminate the response, “Busy” when someone asks the question, “How are you?” The reason for the challenge was to help people engage with others at a more authentic level. At the time, I remember thinking that was nice but probably didn’t apply to me.Then I started paying attention.  

To myself.

In the beginning, before I could even catch myself, I heard myself responding, “Busy” over and over again. I heard those I speak with responding “Busy” over and over again. It made me question why this response is so quick to roll of our tongues. Is it because it is a simple, catch-all response?  After all, responding we are busy serves as an explanation of why we may look frazzled, why we are hurrying off without continuing the conversation, and perhaps why we haven’t been present to this person. Responding that we are busy is a seamless reply.  No one else can argue with us whether we are busy or not (though some may grasp this opportunity to “out-busy” us). Responding with “busy” gives one freedom to either drop the conversation or share details of our busy-ness.  This type of exchange doesn’t require a lot of authenticity.

I still catch myself responding this way. However, I am taking steps to change both my response and the reality. This Lent has been a good time to reflect on “Busy-ness” and all it entails. Why are we so busy? Is it because we have filled our homes and our lives with useless things and too many activities? Are we afraid to slow down and have time together? Do we feel unaccomplished if we are not running around at full speed? Do we think the only way to be a true Christian is to join everything, do everything, help everywhere?

FoMo is a relatively new acronym in our culture. It stands for Fear of Missing Out~a fear that seems to have taken over society. It reminds me of something one of my dear friends shared in our book club years ago. There were just five of us in the group and this particular friend casually asked the rest of us what we had been doing at the parish hall the night before. Each of us had our own reason for being there, though none of us were together. As we shared our purpose in being there, she was visibly relieved and said, “I saw all your cars and felt like I was missing out on something.” 

Fear of missing out has the potential to drive us to busy-ness. Trying to be all, do all and attend all. This is not what God desires for us or for our families. We must remember that fear is not of God and neither is fear of missing out.

In the Gospels, we see Jesus at work. He is confident and consistent. He lives His Mission. The word, “busy” is not used. He is steady, not frantic. Jesus knows both Who He Is and what He is about. That is my goal for myself~knowing who I am and what I am about. These two things give confidence and consistency to life. They are a great “go-to” phrase in discernment.  My hope is to eliminate my own FoMo, my own busyness, and to live the life I am called to live.

“Be Still and Know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

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