In a constant flux, we are all caught up in a whirlwind in which we become busy with busyness. We are like hamsters on a wheel, running in a circle without moving forward. We have not only become busy but we are crazy busy. In his book Crazy Busy, author Kevin DeYoung identified three dangers that will make us slip away spiritually.
Firstly, busyness can ruin our joy. Isn’t this an apparent threat? Joy is the marked trait of a believer. In Philippians 4:4, Paul is spurring the Christians on to rejoice in the Lord, and in Romans 15:13, we see that only in God is there fullness of joy.
We need to stop being busy and discover our own space first. The effect of unchecked busyness is having to put up with trivialities and distractions in our lives. As we get into the predictable pattern of our daily lives, we often sink into our busyness, which often robs us of our joy.
Secondly, busyness can rob our hearts. Jesus’ parables (Mark 4:1-20) warn us of the dangers of not taking God’s word deeply in our hearts.
Satan will plant seeds in our minds if we allow it. There is a saying that being busy is “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.” Therefore, pruning for peace, quiet and calm is necessary for the seed of God's word to mature into faithfulness.
The third danger is that busyness can cover up the rot in our souls.Busy people are always running, ever on the go, chasing life. They hop from one meeting to another. They face endless deadlines. Sometimes, the crazy schedules and the hectic lifestyle can make one physically and spiritually sick.
The danger comes when our busy schedules get in the way of learning about God through His word. Perhaps we need to re-evaluate what matters most. Setting our priorities rightly and thinking about what matters most will be helpful.
The number one priority of believers should be spending time with God. When we look at the gospels, we can imagine how busy Jesus was for the Kingdom on earth. Yet, he never strayed from the mission of God. Jesus cared greatly for the lost and the broken, yet he was not motivated by other people's favour. Instead, Jesus was inspired by the task that God had given him. Certainly, there were challenges, but, knowing his priorities, Jesus resisted the many temptations of a busy life. Jesus treasured the precious time alone with God, the devoted time in prayer.
Let us look at our lives. Are we consumed with fear? Are we anxious, overwhelmed with commitments, or over-parenting, for example?
Time management failures aside, being overly busy is a mental illness and a heart condition. Being busy isn't only about working hard; it's also about working hard at the wrong things — working hard to win others' favour and wasting time on things that aren't vital or required in life.
Jesus reminded us of the one thing that is most necessary. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 41-42). Paul was busy too, but in all the right ways. If we love God and serve others, we will be busy in the right way (2 Corinthians 11:29).
Like the apostle Paul, we should recognise how in need we are, how we can regularly reflect on the Lord Jesus' grace, and how to ingest the healing truth of his Word. The only thing that is actually required is commitment to Christ. The first step is to establish regular times for prayer and Bible study. It is not wrong to be exhausted. To be overburdened is all right. And to experience periods of total anarchy is fine, too. What is wrong, heartbreakingly naive and entirely avoidable is to live a life with more craziness than we want, because we have less Jesus than we need.
What are you busy with? Shall we be busy for the kingdom of God, like Jesus? - Dn Malar Thomas