The phrase “I’m too busy” has become more than an excuse for not doing certain things; it is now a status symbol of importance, an ego-boosting philosophy, and a mantra of modern-day accomplishment. Sometimes we say it out of genuine exhaustion or stress, but even then there’s an undercurrent of pride wrapped up in it because we equate being busy with being important, being needed, and being successful.
Sadly, many of us have told ourselves that we’re “too busy” for so long that we are letting our lives slip away from us by not investing in the things that matter most and bring us the most fulfillment and satisfaction.
As a minister, I am constantly engaged in conversations that go something like this…
I believe in God, but I’m too busy to spend time with Him.
I believe in the importance of the church, but I’m too busy to be a member of one.
I do feel more centered and more connected to God when I pray, but I’m too busy to pray regularly.
Like Peter, I do believe that Jesus “has the words of eternal life,” but I’m too busy to read my Bible.
I agree that times of silence and solitude can be refreshing to the soul, but I’m too busy to actually do it.
I believe that there is something powerful about Christians coming together in corporate worship, but I’m too busy to worship like that on a consistent basis.
It would be great to do a family devotional once or twice a week, but we’re just too busy.
I would like to make more time to serve others intentionally, but I’m too busy.
I would like to volunteer in one my church’s ministries, but I’m too busy.
I think I’d get a lot out of joining a small group Bible study, but I’m too busy.
I know that Celebrate Recovery would help me, but I’m too busy.
I realize that I should pay more attention to my spiritual life, but I’m too busy.
I recognize that I need to create deeper friendships, but I’m too busy.
Ironically, we seem to be “too busy” to pause long enough to consider what our “busy-ness” is doing to us.
For example, the longest longitudinal study of human behavior in history, called the Harvard Grant Study, found – after 75 years of study – that the things that made people feel like they were going to flourish in life weren’t their status or celebrity or salary or grade or institution that they graduated from. It wasn’t anything that American capitalism tells us it is. It was actually the relationships they have and the depth of their loving relationships.
So we spend our whole lives trying to find a sense of flourishing and happiness by going to the right schools, getting the right grades, getting the right jobs, and making the right money, when all along it’s the things we’re too busy for that actually make life worth living.
But did we really need a research study to tell us that?
Don’t we instinctively know, through our experience, that the depth of our friendships and our connection to God add the most quality to our lives?
Then why are we talking ourselves out of pursuing those relationships by constantly telling ourselves the lie that we are “too busy” to invest ourselves in those relationships?
When we say we’re “too busy” we’re really saying that we are slaves to time and circumstances and a calendar, and that we are powerless to take control of our own lives.
We are not powerless!
This coming holiday season which leads into a new year presents a great opportunity for us to self-correct and starting making time for the things that matter most.
Let’s not waste the opportunity because we’re “too busy.”