You’re Not That Busy
Last week I went to catch up with a friend I sincerely admire but rarely get to spend time with. As I was driving to the coffee shop where we planned to meet, I realized he was going to ask me a question that I had no clue how to answer.
“How are you?”
This question echoed through my mind as I switched in and out of rush hour traffic. Like that stressful commute, my mind switched in and out of answers too. All of them were anchored in one response: I’m really, really busy. In an almost out of body experience, I watched myself cycle through possible answers like a computer processing data, searching for the best match. But there were no matches because nothing I could come up with was really true.
“You’ve been lying to yourself, and you’re going to lie to your friend if you tell him you’re busy.”
The unsuspecting after-work drive to meet a friend for coffee was becoming less and less innocent. God was downloading truth in my spirit, and I was caught watching the knowledge transfer. I was stuck in my car, feeling busier than ever, and God was telling me what I was feeling wasn’t real. He was telling me that busyness is an illusion.
By the world’s standards, I am very busy. Some might describe me as over-committed. To start, I’ve got a full time job that can have a tendency to gobble up weeknights and weekends. Then I pile on more than one side business just to make sure that free time has little chance of surfacing. And for fun, I play competitive indoor soccer, attend a men’s Bible study, help lead a few groups at church, and try to love my beautiful fiancé a little more each day. Sleep is rare, but I’m used to it. There is no such thing as an open night – just double-booked ones.
This same list ran through my head as I considered how busy I was. I thought, “God, how can you not see all this stuff I got going on? It never ends!” In that moment he reminded me that the only thing he sees is my heart. He doesn’t see busyness. He sees a heart that is at peace, ignorant to what the flesh occupies itself with. He knows this because he put it there.
God awards us with the peace of knowing Him. We are His children and therefore inherit his love, peace, and kingdom. While our flesh occupies itself with an unending list of things to do and worry about, our hearts are only concerned with one thing: loving Jesus more. We’re just too busy thinking we’re busy to notice what our heart is feeling.
God reminded me that I only think I’m busy because I’m thinking with my flesh. “How are you” is an autopilot interaction. Everyone asks it and everyone responds the same way. If you’re anything like me, you are too busy to know how to answer truthfully. What I learned that day, driving to visit my friend, was that I was doing God a disservice by playing the busy card. I wasn’t taking the time to recognize and give thanks for the fact that I was just fine. I was full of peace because of God.
Telling someone you’re busy is the easy answer. They expect it from you and they can relate to it. But if you really looked at your heart and genuinely evaluated how you are, what would you say? If you answered someone with the truth of what is in your heart, how would they respond?
Photo Credit: epSos.de (via Flickr Creative Commons)