Friday, March 30, 2012

The Business of Busyness

So my blog has been neglected this semester.  It’s not so much that I don’t have time, it’s more that I haven’t made time.  Often when people say, “I don’t have time for that”, what they really mean is that they don’t want to make time for that. 

I use the “I don’t have time” line for justification not to exercise – that, and I’d have to buy decent running shoes.  But I know many a person who is just as ‘busy’ as I am and find time, because it’s important to them.

This is a perennial problem for Christians and personal devotions.  There just isn’t time to get it all in.  The kids are up too early, work is too busy, we’re in too many church or school activities, at night we’re too tired.  We are constantly making decisions about what to leave in and take out of our lives.  The demands on our time are myriad. 

Lots of talk at the seminary surrounds the problem of busyness and the feeling that we are all just too busy.  While I certainly don’t disagree with that sentiment I’m constantly asking the question, “Busy with what?” 

Several years ago, while I was working at American State Bank, we did a time management exercise.  For an entire week, we were asked to log what we did in 15 minute increments.  It was an eye-opening exercise.  It turns out I was busy with all of mundane things and I also discovered I had a lot of minutes that I really couldn’t account for – I couldn’t put down on paper what I did – I just did ‘stuff’. 

It’s often said that if you want to see what someone really loves, look at their checkbook.  I would argue that if you want to see what someone really loves, look at their calendar.  How much uncommitted time does a person have and what are they doing with it? 

This semester I’ve been studying the life, ministry, and letters of Paul. Paul was a busy guy. Not only did it take a long time to get places (and he went a lot of places), he also took time to preach, teach, write, work, disciple, and pray.   As a future pastor I hope I am disciplined enough to be as busy with that stuff as I am anything else – staying busy with the right things while at the same time learning that being busy is not synonymous with success.

So maybe this little diatribe was my way of justifying my lack of blogging this semester or maybe its my way of convicting myself of how much I’m busy with all the wrong things.  Either way, being busy carries with it more personal choice than I care to admit.  The best I can do is hope to make better choices in the future.