The Blight of Busyness

I am a busy person and so are you. In fact you would be hard pressed to find anyone who believed they were not a busy person. I can even prove my busyness: this article was dictated into a microcassette recorder while driving between various appointments. It seems as if we are all doing three things at once. What makes us so busy? Let me share a few reasons.

First is the number of choices we face in modern society. Think about when Mamma Walton would send John Boy to Ike's store for coffee. He would only have to tell the clerk how much he wanted and the coffee beans would be weighed and bagged. I was recently in a local grocery store and found the coffee section took up twenty-two linear feet, was five shelves high and contained 62 different coffee products from which to choose. Just sorting through all of the clutter of this world can lead to busyness.

A second cause of busyness is our access. We have access to multitudes of places and activities. Think of Little House on the Prairie, when Laura Ingalls' family wanted to travel they could only go as far as their horse and buggy could take them or perhaps save up for an infrequent train ride. We simply crank the ignition and go. Think of the access we have to consumer products, we can phone or fax our order, we can tune in the Shopping Channel on the TV, or we can point and click on the Internet and do our e-commerce online.

Another contributing factor to the blight of busyness is our affluence. The care and feeding of all the stuff we own takes our time. If you own a car you must: tune it, gas it, oil it, wash it, pay for it, insure it, license it, park it, rotate its tires, etc. You get the idea.

So much for the causes; let's talk about the effects of busyness. Busyness first of all is damaging to our relationships. There is no substitute for time spent with those we love. Quality time will never materialize without quantity time. We must have time to play with our kids, visit a friend, and get to know our spouse. Busyness also robs us of time to reflect. Time to just think about what is important, where you are and where you are going in life. Busyness will also negatively affect your religion. If we are going to be rightly related to God, we must have time to worship, listen and talk to Him. He tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) and we tell Him, "sorry, but I am running late for my next meeting." How many people do you know who claim to be too busy to squeeze a commitment to God into their lives? Or, perhaps you are the one who is too busy for church!

So what is the solution? I would like to pass along a little formula to help you overcome the blight of busyness. Priority + Plan = Peace. Begin by determining what things are most important. As you begin, listen to this verse. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). Your relationship with almighty God must be at the top of your list or all of your other priorities will be in vain (see Matthew 16:26). Then list your other priorities in order of their importance. Afterwards assemble your plan to meet your obligations to each of these. When you run out of time to allot, think about divesting yourself of the lower priorities if possible. Allow the peace of God to flood your busy mind knowing that you have given attention to Him and His will for you.

Rev. Jesse Waggoner

©1999 Bible Center Church

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