The Business of Busyness

Does anyone else here feel like they have to do “all the things?” Especially now during the holidays; there are presents to buy, cards to send, cookies to bake and a never ending slew of social obligations. (And I don’t even have children. Seriously, I don’t know how you parents to do it.) But let’s face it, if the busyness we’re consuming ourselves with is baking cookies and attending parties, we’ve got it pretty good. In our society, most of us do generally have it pretty good. The times of desperation where we are brought to our knees needing God are few and far between, allowing us to get constantly caught in the trap of playing God.

Follow my train of thought here.

We’re providers, creators, inventors, and constantly look to ourselves to gain whatever we want in this world.

We leave very little room for God. Because we’re doing all the things, right? We’ve got this. We don’t ask for help, we stay the course, and try not to let any balls hit the ground in our never-ending juggling act.

We even feel gratification and self-worth in our busyness. How many activities can we be involved with? What’s going on this weekend? (Because we must keep our friends, family, and high school acquaintances up-to-date with our active lives on social media.) God is brought into our lives on an “as needed basis.” Unfortunately, Christians today treat God like they would a piece of fine China.

Fine China, for the most part, is tucked away. We bring it out certain times of the year, for certain occasions, maybe even around certain people. And then it’s stored carefully back.  It’s not in our lives daily. It doesn’t get messy with spaghetti or sloppy joes, or get taken in and out of the cupboard so often that it develops scratches and chips. We take the China out selectively; it’s not used in our daily lives. Isn’t that true with God? In our own independence, we don’t feel the need to go to God on a daily basis.

I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha.

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.” –Luke 10:38-42

I’ve always related to Martha. I understand Martha’s actions. There were tasks that needed to be accomplished and work needed to be done. And I also understand that the world needs people with “Martha-ness.” People to take initiative and help provide for others. But I also understand that the world needs substantially more “Mary-ness.” Both sisters knew the importance of the situation. I imagine Martha was thinking something like this: “Come on Mary, Jesus Christ is in our house and you won’t even help me make dinner?” While Mary might’ve been thinking, “Come on Martha, Jesus Christ is in our house and you’re missing everything. Come hear what He has to say, learn from Him, cherish this moment with me.”

Are we noticing when Jesus is around us, or are we too busy to recognize it? Are we listening to Him and seeking Him in all things, even when our lives are comfortable? I’m going to leave you with a quote by Emily Ley, the author of a great book called “Grace Not Perfection.”

“Here’s the thing about doing it all: even if you can do it all, no one can do it all well.”

We’re not perfect; we inevitably will drop one (or all) of our juggling balls. And allowing God to be an active part of our daily lives (not stored away like China) will help us to not get so caught up in our busy routines that we don’t notice Jesus is all around us. He was even with you today- did you notice?


Elissa is married to Sam Houff and they have been attending Redemption for a little over two years. Elissa serves on the Communications, Kids Ministry and First Impressions Teams, is a Pod Leader and is a member of the South Park Community Group.