Busyness Gives Us Nothing
What message has God wanted to tell you lately but you’ve been too busy to stop and take the time to listen to Him? It’s crazy, but we give all our attention to busyness and what does busyness give us in return? I’ll tell you, absolutely nothing. That’s right, zip, narder, diddly squat. Busyness is like a demanding three-year-old who stamps its foot if we aren’t giving it our full attention. However, we’ve only got ourselves to blame because secretly we like busyness, we crave busyness because busyness makes us feel needed, wanted, and important. Nevertheless, unless we learn to slow down and breathe again we will never be able to find ourselves because we’ll become so lost in the abyss called busyness, we will miss the silent, holy night of what Christmas is all about. A season where, I believe, God shares His best dreams with us. Big, audacious, bold dreams which, unlike busyness, will always give us something in return for our attention.
I had the best morning the other day. My hubby and I decided to have an impromptu date in Sydney. A day of no plans, no particular place to go, and nothing we desperately wanted to do on our date, just enjoying the day together. We ended up in the NSW State Library, much to my inner writer’s delight. As we walked around the library looking at the displays, I came across a display about the Australian author, Henry Lawson, famous for his short stories and poetry. I read he had an ear infection when he was a child which left him with partial deafness by the time he was fourteen. Looking at some of his unpublished work and his handwritten notes asking a friend for a pound loan until he could gain some money from his work, I studied the collection of Lawson’s writing in the display case. He wrote about his challenges from being partially deaf and how it had affected him. He said about his deafness, “…was to cloud my whole life, to drive me into myself, and to be, in great measure responsible for my writing.”
I understood Lawson’s comment because it is sometimes through the challenges and trials that we realise we all need to become responsible for the gifts and talents God blesses us with. And in the quiet solitude of the grand reading room of the NSW State Library, embracing the scent of the old books like an old, familiar friend, I pondered Lawson’s words about responsibility, of how, as a writer, it is my responsibility to use my words to help lead people back to the heartbeat of God.
As I sat looking up at the rows and rows of books lining the bookshelves, each one standing to attention like a military soldier ready to be called up for duty whenever someone takes it off the shelf, I thought about each person who had written all those books and how they had taken seriously the responsibility of penning those words that each page held.
And in the stillness of the grand, majestic library, I felt my purposeful pause had allowed me to leave all my busyness in the Sydney streets outside, laying down all its demands of my have-to’s, and whether I really want to do’s, as the claims and calls that busyness hollers so frequently at me had all been left at the entrance of the library door so I could sit awhile in a place that felt like home. And in the quietness, I could hear God’s whisperings along the bookshelves calling me once again to be who He had called me to be and not fall into the trap of who I thought I should be.
What about you dear friend? Would you be able to stay still long enough and ignore the pleas and demands of busyness just so you could feel your soul find the path that leads you back home? A place where you can hear God tell you His dreams and plans for you so clearly, a space where you feel the sense of responsibility to use your gifts and talents for His glory. Remember, busyness gives us nothing and trust me when I say when you hear the unmistakable voice that calls your name, a voice that builds joy and hope inside of you, which the world could never offer because of all its needs and necessities and requirements and plans you will never look back.
Sometimes we just have to stop thinking and doing so much busyness and just go where our heart leads us, back into the stillness and quietness that resets us. Stillness teaches us things which busyness knows nothing about. Jeremiah 33:3 says, ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known.’ But how can we know all those great things if we don’t leave all that busyness behind? Remember busyness gives us nothing and it will keep letting you do its bidding, pushing you around like a piece on a chess board, demanding your next move until it wins the game.
So, from my heart to yours, I hope and pray you will find some time to rest and reset in the silent, holy night of Christmas. To come once again thirsty for God’s presence and sit quietly with Him. To believe and to wonder again that He has got you in the palm of His hand and to dream with Him that the responsibility of the gifts and talents He has placed in your hand is going to be used for His glory.
Have you been somewhere lately that gave you the space to think, breathe and dream again with God?