We are a performance-driven people, which means we’re also a budgeted people. 16 hours — 1 hour of commute, 1 for eating, 9 for work, .5 for Netflix, 1 hour for devotions, and brushing our teeth in the car. We’ve got fifteen minutes here and there. Busy.
Hey, wanna get coffee? Obviously: I’m busy. It’s who we are. Money’s tight. Time’s sparse. Energy’s low. We keep the fixes in our pockets, endless easy helps and hacks. Financial advisor. Scheduling app. Caffeine. What about exercise? Must make time for that too. Google: “Lose fat fast.” The stomachs of our souls grumble with the question:
How can I do the most, and be the best, as fast as possible?
And if we’re not busy, it sends us and the people we want to impress a clear message: failure. You’re not busy? You must be lazy. A loser. We wouldn’t say it, but we behave that way. Ever take out your phone and flip through it in a waiting room, just to look like you’re busy? To be bored was once an inconvenience — now it’s treated like cancer: something to be treated at any expense, with whatever means.
The human race has never had such meticulously measured self-understanding. Mile time. IQ. EQ. INTJ. Bench press. Body fat percentage.What’s your Enneagram number?Hours slept. Time wasted. Dollars saved. Percentage yielded. All these metrics give us a way to grade the success of our busyness. We break from all the labor to log into Facebook — How do I compare? We’re insecure.Wow, they’re so busy. I wish I was that busy.
And all the while, we feel our souls becoming thin, shallow, dissolving in all the multitasking.
Busy From Birth
What can we find in the Bible to justify and fuel our obsession with busyness? Fast-paced Jesus. Busy Jesus. Early-in-the-morning Jesus. Carpenter Jesus. Busy man, working man, preaching man, leading man, people-person Jesus.
But then a different profile: “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth” (John 9:1). Day after day, the man sits and begs (John 9:8) — a man without pretense, without schedule, without plans, without friends, without respect, without money, with no reason to hope things could change. . . . He’s not busy. He didn’t chase after Jesus like other blind men (Matthew [9:27]). Nor did Jesus heal him. Rather, “he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing” (John 9:6–7).
It’s time to exhale. Pause. Just for a second, stop thinking about your plans for today. Stop thinking about what you’ll do after you finish reading this article.
We’re so busy, we aren’t quite sure how to relate to a needy blind man with nothing to do. But we are him — we’re blind. We are born into work, into dirt and darkness, into blindness. We had no choice. And we wish it wasn’t that way, but no matter how hard we try to hone our spiritual senses, week after week, God’s Sabbath rest just feels like another box to check — another dirty thorn from the ground.
We’re not blind to the world around us — all the busyness happening around us all the time. We’re blinded by the world around us to God himself. We are so blind that it is God who must see us— “ . . . as he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.” We’re so busy, that it’s Jesus who must be busy toward us. We are blind to ourselves, to the pool of purpose and peace (called Sent), blind to our Savior.
Written by Paul Maxwell
Full story at Desiring God