Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Right Kind of Busy

Ask anyone nowadays how things are going, and more often than not you'll get an answer the boils down to one word: busy.

Our society today moves at a faster pace than ever before, and we feel it. We talk about it, commiserate about it, and justify our missteps with it. What bothers me, though, is that we play victim to it. Inherent in that common answer is the understanding that this world moves too fast and we're just trying to hold on.

But it's not.

We decide to be busy.

Yes, there are some instances where making ends meet means taking on more work than we feel we can handle. For most of us though, we choose to fill our days to the brim. We crave busyness as a sign of social status or maybe to distract us from confronting a hardship in life.

When others ask me how things are going, I try to respond with something other than "busy". This Lent, I've found that I'm reverting back to this bad habit as I have more scheduled events to keep track of. I cling to my calendar as if it's my lifeline. When friends asks me about myself, my mind is so wrapped up in what's coming next that I don't slow down to be present with them and give them a more thoughtful answer than "busy".

I'm working on it.

What I've come to find, though, is that I feel the overwhelmed kind of busy when what I'm doing doesn't line up with my priorities. And this is where the "right kind" of busy comes in - the intentional kind of busy.

As an example - when I stay up late to comfort a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on, I may be really tired the next day, but I don't complain about it. Instead, I have a spring in my step, knowing my presence made a difference to that friend, even if it meant sacrificing sleep. For me, the value in comforting a friend far surpasses the value in being well-rested.

If we think about our time the same way, we won't feel victimized by busyness. We won't complain that the world has a hold of us, because we're directing our time towards the things that matter. There's something peaceful about collapsing in bed at the end of the day, knowing we worked our hardest to further something we are passionate about, whether it be our own physical health, the education of the next generation, enriching the lives of the elderly or disabled, or providing for our families.

We should live our lives intentionally.

First we need to take the time to define our priorities and understand our purpose. Then, we can live our lives in a way true to that purpose. We'll be choosing to walk a path rather than allowing our lives to be swept away in the world's stream of busyness.

I challenge you: remove the word "busy" from your vocabulary and focus on directing your time towards what's important. I'll do the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment