Sunday, February 5, 2012

Buzzword: Busy

"Busy week." How many times each week do you hear that? How many times does that response come from a Christian brother or sister. I declare "busy" as the latest buzz-word. Not buzz-word as in those consultant-speak words that seem kind of cool and new when you first hear them, then lame when you start hearing them from seemingly everyone and then make you feel lame when you find yourself using it. No, what I mean here is buzz-word as in a game show buzzer meaning "wrong answer."

I don't even want to argue with you or anyone else about whether you or they are truly busy. As a close friend of mine says, "Do you really want to compare calendars?" Rather let me suggest that we all need to open our eyes and ears to this default "busy" answer. I mean, what is it?

Is it a badge of honor? Is it an expectation? Is it somehow a sin to not be able to answer "busy" when asked how I or how my week is going/was? You know, I am just after all being a good steward of my time.

No, I argue that this "busy" response falls into one of the following categories:
  • Sin - Take it from someone who knows this. Often our jam-packed calendars are a reflection of the sinful choices we make whether it is not slowing down for time with God or not prioritizing our first ministry with our spouse and family at home.
  • Rationalization - For some reason -- could it be that sin is deceitful -- being busy or saying I am busy seems to be an acceptable reason for sin. After all, if I am busy, well then clearly my quiet times with God have been abbreviated and I should have some allowance for emotional sins (e.g., anger, harshness). Problem is, I cannot find that in God's word.
  • Consequence - See "Sin" above. You scheduled it or allowed it to be scheduled. Or you procrastinated on that work project or ministry commitment.
  • Circumstance or Trial - If you are follower of Jesus Christ, you should not be surprised when you face a trial. Rather you are to count it all joy, to understand that God allows or brings these trials in the lives of His followers to test our faith and to sanctify us.
Here is the deal. Being busy does not equate to being a good steward of your time. Being busy does not buy me any sin rationalization. Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Ephesus that we need to be careful how we walk, because the days -- the passing of time, the turning of pages on the calendar, the click to another week in my Outlook calendar without accomplishing anything for the Kingdom -- are evil. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Our "busy" lifestyles are all the more reason to prioritize the things of God, the spiritual disciplines, your daily quiet time in God's Word and your work for Christ, His church and His kingdom. So the next time you start to answer a question with how busy you are or have been, I hope you hear the imaginary buzzer going off in your head. Buzzzzz!!!!! Incorrect or unimportant answer. Don't be satisfied with being "busy." Make the best use of the time.

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