Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Busy Like Jesus

"It's a busy season for me."

It's the typical answer given when others wonder, "how are you doing?"

I'm not alone in this. Even the students I shepherd find themselves with loads of homework, plenty of sports and music and school activities, part-time jobs (sometimes full-time jobs, which I'm wondering if it's even legal in Arizona), filling out college applications, serving in their community, and socializing with friends. Families are plagued by a sense of the frantic. They are busy busy busy.

In our frantic culture, busy = success.

Jesus was also busy. Just look at all the things he said and did (John reminds us that the Gospel accounts don't even capture it all). Paul was quite busy too; a brief reading in the book of Acts and you'll see one of the greatest road trips ever taken as the Gospel is spread beyond Jerusalem. What were they busy with? What filled up Jesus's calendar? How did Paul spend the majority of his time?

Spreading the Gospel. Making disciples. Loving unconditionally. Being good news. Listening for God's voice. Resting.

It raises a few questions:

-Am I busy with the right things, the activities and endeavors that Jesus embodied? When I look at how I spent my time this past month, how much is devoted to being good news?
-How am I modeling busyness in the way I live? When students look at the way I live my life, is it a life worth imitating?
-Is my ministry an environment of rest and refreshment, or just another activity to perpetuate the weekly busyness? How can I foster a culture of rest, that transcends both busyness and laziness?


  1. Henri Nouwen talks about this in his fantastic book In the Name of Jesus. I often wonder, "What does the word BUSY actually mean?" I mean, we all have stuff to do, and the same amount of hours in a day. I'm beginning to think that "busy" means, "I'm not doing what I want to do or what I should be doing."

    1. Benjer, I love Nouwen's book, and reread it every year as a simple reminder about my true calling--prayer and rest in the Lord over being relevant or in control.