Run to a meeting.
Return phone calls.
Respond to emails.
Meet with staff.
Put out “fires.”
Teach a class.
Leading a non-profit like ours, there seems to never be enough hours in the day to get all that we need to done.
But what happens when the busyness of the day becomes more important to us than the reason for our existence. Then what?
This isn’t just true for me and my staff who exist in the non-profit/ministry world, this is true for all of us as human beings. It’s a question we must all ask ourselves. What happens when the busyness of life becomes more important than the people around us? Do we want to be defined by our busyness or by how we loved people?
I had this internal conversation with myself on the way home from a meeting I had in Decatur a couple of weeks ago. When I returned the concept was weighing so heavy on me I felt compelled to share it on ‘Facebook Live’ to see if anyone else was challenged by this idea and I felt convicted to ask forgiveness to those who I had brushed off in my desire to head to the next thing.
If you missed that ‘Facebook Live’ post, you can see it here.
I was very convicted that my identity had been getting caught up in the things that I was putting on my to do list and making sure that other people knew that I was quite busy. I was finding myself caught up in not only telling people how busy I was but, also feeling pride when people would tell me how busy I was. It made me feel important and significant. It meant I had purpose and was needed, right?
You see the more I simmered on that thought the worse I began to feel. I started to realize that all the “stuff” I had to do, though to some extent was important, but not at the sake of relationships. Not when I was missing out on opportunities to love people in Jesus’ name or feel loved by others, diminishing their opportunity to use their gifts to minister as well to me.
I had realized I was caught up in the doing and was missing the part of the “being.”
By nature, I am a doer. I love to do lists and checking items off of those lists. I like to go from unorganized to organized. To see that I have accomplished something. Even now as I type this blog, it gives me great joy to know that the page is becoming filled with words that hopefully will bring clarity and meaning to someone else besides me. And when the blog post is done, I will mark it off my list and feel accomplished for it.
But here is the thing, if my identity is more caught up in the things that I get done than in the people the Lord is calling me to connect with then I have missed it.
If my busyness causes me to put up walls rather than to build bridges, I have missed it.
If my to do list draws more attention to my accomplishments than brings glory to God, I have missed it.
If others know me for these things and not for my love of God and people, I have missed it. I have missed it. Oh, how I have missed it.
And yet it’s so easy to get to this place. To mix up our priorities and do instead of be.
The world urges us on this way, to hustle. To be the best we can be at whatever we do. To work late and get up early. To fill our days with things to do. To measure our worth by the amount of emails in our inbox or the texts on our phones. But you and I need to ask ourselves a very important question, when we come to the end of our day or even better the end of our lives…do we want those around us to feel loved, valued, and worthy because we saw them, stopped for them, and engaged with them? Or do we want to be known by our accomplishments?
I honestly believe that God cares very little for the things that I have done in the name of busyness. Even if those things help bring about change in His kingdom. I truly believe He is more concerned about how I gave glory to Him in my response to His commands to love Him and love others. Which ends up looking more like being than doing.
Jesus made a point of this when He visited the house of Mary and Martha. Martha was the “doer” of the bunch. There was a bunch of guests at the house and Martha was busy trying to get everything prepared. She had a list of things in her head that needed to get done and was “waiting” for her sister to get in the kitchen and help out.
Luke 10:38-42 shares their story with us: Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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.”
Martha was caught up in the doing, Mary was caught up in the being. Mary knew where her identity was, completely wrapped up in Jesus.
So I ask the same thing of you, as I am asking to myself…Do you want your life to be known for the sum of your accomplishments or that you loved others well? I am gong to choose today to do the same as Mary, the one thing that is necessary. The good portion. The being.
How about you? If you find your identity caught up in busyness, I would love it if you would share how you are going to start changing from doing to being?
** I found a great blog post by Dr. Christina Hibbert on the addiction of busyness, that you may want to check out. You can find her post, here. Loved her meme, so I used if for my image above.