If you stop to talk to anyone you know, the conversation will likely go something like this:
"How are you?"
"Oh, I'm good! Busy, but good!"
COVID entered the scene and shook things up a bit but busy didn’t necessarily go away. Essential workers went about their lives with the added weight of risk and not enough resources to carry the burden. Busy is likely an understatement. On the other hand, others got dropped into an unknown realm where calendars cleared to some degree and time at home was abundant. However, there was still a heavy weight of feeling like you were supposed to be doing more. That is if you weren’t juggling virtual learning and/or the struggles that come with working from home.
Busy has become an expected part of life. It is a glorified status in our culture. If you aren't busy then you aren’t doing enough. Our culture says that you need to be doing more, helping more, involved in more. On the surface, those things can sound and look really good. But who are we trying to impress? Who are we trying to please with our busy lives?
Paul writes in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Too often our busyness stems from trying to gain the approval of others. Saying yes to everything makes us feel good. People applaud you for all you do and stand amazed at how you get everything accomplished. They will wonder how you manage it when they can hardly manage everything they do. But what they don't see is how thin you are stretched. They don't see how exhausted you are. You don't let them see it.
The glorification of busyness has created a society of overworked and exhausted people. We run ourselves dry just trying to keep up with what we've created as our daily lives. So where does all this end? When do we get the rest that we all so desperately need?
It's when we learn how to say no.
Learning how to say no is not easy. It does not come naturally. You will feel like you are letting everyone down. But let me tell you something, it is not your responsibility to run the whole world. You were not made to control, or even be a part of everything. You were made to do many things, and one of those is to rest.
You may think you don’t have time to rest but consider this: God, the creator of the universe, took time to rest. Jesus, the savior of the world, took time alone to pray. What makes you think that you are unable to do the same?
When you learn to say no, you can take time to rest just like your Creator and Savior. You can also give more of yourself to the things you already do. You can commit more time to your family, your hobbies, your passions. You can devote yourself to the things that matter to you.
When you stop glorifying busyness, let go of the expectations of society, and take time to rest, the important things in your life will remain. You will be able to rest in who God created you to be rather than trying to gain the approval of the world. Now that is something worth glorifying.