I wonder, are we really too busy? How busy is too busy? When is being busy wrong? When am I harming others with my busyness? Am I communicating to my loved ones that I don't have time for them? That I don't find them important enough to slow my busyness? Or do I just become too easily stressed out? I have this little sign in my kitchen & while it makes me smile, I wonder. Is being stressed really a dessert of life?
We are told repeatedly in God's word that we are to stay busy, work hard & be diligent in our tasks. "All hard work brings a profit". (Pr. 14:23) Hard work induces sound sleep so it might even be healthy to be busy! (Eccl. 5:12) But when is too much, simply too much?
Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 "Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless - a miserable business!"
It sounds as if this man had no siblings or descendants, so he kept himself very busy. Maybe he kept himself so busy any siblings or descendants no longer wanted to be around him. Either way, most of us do have families & they keep us very busy! Just the daily tasks of making a household run smoothly can be exhausting, then we have other activities, commitments & appointments. We are always going, always doing, always running, always tired, always just a bit stressed. Just like this man, there is no end to our toil, yet we are not content. Like him, have you ever asked yourself, "Why am I doing so much? Is anyone benefiting from my exhaustion? And, why am I not having any fun?" Even when we add something fun or enjoyable to our schedules, we can't really relax & enjoy it! It just turns into another appointment. How strange that we have to WORK an appointment of relaxation into our overworked, exhaustive schedules. And then, even stranger, it becomes our normal!
The Ecclesiastes writer said "This too is meaningless - a miserable business!" Could I be entertaining a miserable business? Or maybe a miserable busyness? I believe they are one & the same. I've experienced the miserable busyness far too often. This man had no family, but I do. This man wasn't hurting anyone except himself, but I am. This man may not have drove his family to the point where they didn't want to be around him, but am I? Am I communicating to my loved ones that I'm too busy for them? Too often I snap, I raise my voice, I hustle, I don't listen, I don't engage & I become the contentious woman of Pr. 19:13. Ugh! It's not fun for anyone; me or my loved ones. It's simply a miserable existence. A miserable busyness. All in all, a miserable business.
So today I threw away my little sign, removed a few things from my to-do list & wrote down:
Its ok that I said 'no' to a friend. Its ok that I said 'not now' to the dust bunnies. Its ok that I said 'just a minute' to the laundry. Its ok that I said 'maybe later'' to something I wanted to do.
It's ok that I said 'no more' to the enemy's schemes to wedge his way between me & my loved ones.