We’re quickly moving into a busy time of year. Most Americans feel weary before Thanksgiving ever rolls around. Never mind Black Friday, all the Christmas parties, shopping, wrapping presents, sending out Christmas letters, viewing the lights, etc.
I met with my functional medicine doctor last week. I’ve been dealing with some issues for years, and things aren’t getting better. In spite of taking different medicines and supplements. In spite of attempting to make a few lifestyle changes.
Things aren’t changing.
As we talked, he shared something with me that I’d never heard before . . . that the Chinese character for “Busy” meant, “annihilation of the heart.”
I did a little research and found that there are a number of experts (as far as my brief online search could find, anyway) who disagree wth this translation of the Chinese character.
Nevertheless, the seed’s been planted. I’ve written on busy-ness before, but now my body is forcing me to become intentional about making some changes.
I’ve thrived on busy for years . . . decades, even. I like being busy. I’ve found value in accomplishing stuff. Affirmation has come with some of those accomplishments, and that’s fed my self-esteem. And my self-concept. And my self-value.
Busyness has affected me physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I’m too busy with outward things, the inward part of me suffers. When I spend time with Jesus simply to mark it off my to-do list for the day, what have I missed?
When my focus is on getting through the quiet time, I’ve missed that intimacy with the Creator of my soul, my spirit, my essence. I’ve missed out on hearing His thoughts toward me. I’ve missed His marching orders for the day. I’ve missed that touch of His spirit with mine . . . all so I could have a few more minutes to get something done.
I can head into my days after time spent in the Word, but I walk through them with a limp. I can only go so long before I begin to fall apart—emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
And trust me, when I begin to fall apart, it ain’t pretty. Just ask my family.
The hard thing is? When I’ve gone so many days without that intimate connection with Jesus, my heart becomes hardened. It takes time for the Lord to break through the walls that go up, often without me even realizing.
I have to re-learn how to be still before Him. And this often requires a lesson (or ten) in humility. When I place more value in being busy than on my relationship with Jesus, I become puffed up. People may not see it, but God does.
If I go for long enough, my heart will be completely distanced from Jesus, and I’ll have the insane idea that I can do this life in my own strength. And that, is exactly where the enemy of my soul wants me . . . depending on myself rather than on my Savior.
I can depend on myself for only so long. Sooner or later, I’m going to run out of my own strength. My resources will run dry. And then where will I be? I’ll be empty and have no one to lift me up.
I don’t want to get to that place!
As I contemplate the effects of busyness on my heart, the results can be devastating.
Let’s face it. There are seasons where we can’t avoid busyness. But, maybe we can evaluate how to give ourselves rest amid those seasons.
With the holiday season nearly upon us, we’ll all be stretched thin. The question is, how will you keep yourself—your heart—from straying away from Jesus?
Let’s visit more about that next week. Be thinking, because I’ll want to hear from you!
What about you? How is your heart effected when you are busy? What other impacts does busy-ness have on your life?