It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?
– Psalm 127:2
In a recent Barna research poll, it has been noted that the new default answer to the standard “how are you?” is no longer, ‘Good,” but “Busy.” Such busyness is often perceived as the “new norm” of the 21st century.
Let me begin by asking a series of questions. Answer “Yes” or “No” to each:
1. Do you always seem to be in a hurry?
2. At the end of your day do you often find that your detailed “to do’” list has many uncompleted tasks?
3. Has anyone ever told you to slow down?
4. Do you feel guilty when you relax?
5. Have you ever found yourself scheduled to be in more than one place at a time?
Now, allow me to ask you a few tough questions:
1. When was the last time you really rested?
2. How long has it been since you took a walk, not just for exercise, but just to be refreshed?
3. When was the last time you took a Sunday leisurely drive with the family?
This series of articles is not meant to promote laziness. But, they are intended to emphasize that living a hectic hurried life is not the kind of lifestyle that God intends for you. Constant busyness causes stress and prolonged stress in any person’s life and paves the way to a multitude of other issues. Dr. Allen Elkin, Ph.D., Director of the Stress Management Counseling Center in New York City notes: Stress is a fact of life, but being stressed out is not. We don’t always have control over what happens to us, and yet, that doesn’t mean we have to react to a difficult, challenging situation by becoming frazzled or feeling overwhelmed or distraught. Being overly anxious is not just a mental hazard; it’s a physical one too. The more stressed out we are the more vulnerable we are to colds, flu, and a host of chronic or life-threatening illnesses, and the less open we are to the beauty and pleasure of life.
Beloved, God desires for us to live well balanced, complete lives; not harried, hurried and stressed. Having the wrong priorities dictating our day is like buttoning our blouses/shirts incorrectly. If we get the first button wrong, all the others do not line up because of the misplaced first one. However, when we get the first button right, all the others will line up where they are designed to be. If you are having a hard time taming the busyness beast in your life, ask yourself what do you need to stop doing? What can be rearranged in your daily or weekly schedule to allow more time for relaxation? For your spiritual, emotional, mental and bodily benefit, I encourage you to tame the busyness beast in your life.
Next Week: Busyness Interferes With Our Most Important Relationships
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.