“Why do I do the things I do?”
Answering that question is the key to unlocking our busyness problem. We have “heart motivations” that drive why our calendars and to-do lists fill up. We have to rethink our lives at a deep level to discover what those heart motivations are so we can address them. Here are four of them:
- “I’m trying to prove myself”
John Adams, the 2nd president of the United States, said it best: “[every person]…is strongly actuated by a desire to be seen, heard, talked of, approved, and respected.” We all have a passion for distinction. Some of us are busy because we’re trying to prove ourselves. We’re trying to prove we’re a somebody. We fill our schedules with events and tasks that provide us with distinction.
- “I’m trying to meet others’ expectations”
We’re busy because we can’t say ‘no.’ We fear peoples’ rejection and we get addicted to their praise. We continually say ‘yes’ until our we’re running on fumes.
- “I’m trying to control things”
Here’s a principle: insecurity breeds long hours. We try to control our financial security, our reputations, and our children’s future. Control-freaks are busy.
- “I’m trying to make the most out of life”
We’re experience-junkies! Some of us are busy because we’re trying to cram an eternity of experiences into this short life.
Let’s work the gospel into each of these:
Some of you are busy because you’re trying to prove yourself. If you’re a Christian, you don’t need to because through Christ you already have all the notoriety you’ll ever need. Jesus declared you a ‘somebody’ through the life he lived and death he died in your place. So rest.
Some of you busy because you’re trying to meet everyone’s expectations. If you’re a Christian, you don’t need to because through Christ you already have all the approval you’ll ever need. “If I have the smile of God, all other frowns are inconsequential.” So rest.
Some of you are busy because you’re trying to control everything. If you’re a Christian you don’t need to control everything, because you can’t control everything and the God who does control everything is already looking out for your good in all things. So rest.
Some of you are busy because you’re trying to make the most out of life. If you’re a Christian, you don’t have to make the most out of this life because you have an eternity awaiting you. So save something for that one and rest.
One last thought: make time each day to sit at the feet of Jesus.
In Luke 10, Martha was busy preparing the meal, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, and mowing the yard. She got irritated with Mary because Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to him preach. Jesus said Mary chose to do what is best. The one thing you can’t afford to skip today is to spend time at the feet of Jesus.
So much of our daily activity assists in putting together a healthy “outer life.” But what about your “inner life?” Might it be that your outer life looks immaculate, but your inner life is withering? The one thing you can’t afford to skip today is to spend time at the feet of Jesus.