Done Chasing Busyness

ToDoList_blogThe other day I ran into a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in several weeks. He asked how I was doing and my response was the standard “Busy!”

It’s true. I’m busy. I’m barely into summer and already it’s flying by with BBQs, weddings, business trips, family reunions, doctor appointments, laundry, a/c repairs, oil changes and everything else in between.

After few minutes, my friend mentioned he and his family returned from vacation a few weeks ago. He said it had taken him roughly three days from when vacation started until he was able put the busy feeling aside and actually relax. It had taken that long to quiet his mind and his heart.

It was obvious he was still in vacation mode too, even though he had been home for two weeks at that point. He was the complete opposite of rushed. He was still.

I was impressed. The last time I went on vacation in less than 48 hours I was back into the fast-paced race of my day to day, and here was my friend 14 days later looking as relaxed as if I had caught him on the last day of vacation.

It made me wonder.

In Psalm 46:10, the Lord commands us to be still and know that He is God. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s one of those pleasant verses that belongs on a coffee mug. I picture sitting in my favorite chair with that coffee mug in hand, Bible in my lap, savoring a quiet moment without a buzzing cell phone or dirty dishes in the sink.


But being still is hard, because the reality is there’s always a new email in the inbox, and if there aren’t dirty dishes in the sink then the dishwasher needs to be unloaded.

Sadly, the norm looks more like me, squinty-eyed and half-awake, scrolling through my Facebook feed while my 30-second Keurig coffee finishes sputtering into my mug right before I rush off to start a load of laundry on the way out the door to the dentist, after which I need to hit up the mall to get a birthday gift for a friend before I respond to the new email in my inbox while sitting in the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A for a quick sandwich on the way to my off-site meeting. And that’s all before noon.

Finding time to be still is hard when I’m busy chasing busyness.

The thing about busyness is that its finish line always seems almost reachable. It makes me think if I can just get through these next few things then, finally, I can slow down and find time to be still. But that finish line remains slightly out of reach.

So instead I run myself ragged, letting busyness discolor my entire day with varying degrees of anxiousness while it drowns out God’s song over me and blinds me to His goodness.

Busyness robs me of so much.

I’m taking a verse out of Psalm 46. I’m going to stop chasing busyness and wait for the stillness. Whether it takes three days, as it did for my friend, or three weeks. I’m done chasing busyness.