Monday, September 14, 2009

oh the hustle and bustle

The photo above was taken during E and I's one year anniversary trip to NYC. This post however, has nothing to do with NYC or taxi cabs. This post is about an epidemic I have recently seen effect the lives of many of my friends and family - and no it is not the swine flu. The epidemic I'm speaking of, what I believe the picture above portrays, is busyness.

For the last year and a half my life has been a mess. I have been so busy at times I feel like my head is spinning. I contribute my busyness to being a full-time graduate student and full-time employee. Before that, I blamed my busyness on planning a wedding, adjusting to college life, and so the list goes on. I anticipate that at some point in my life I will blame my busyness on being a mom. Since I began graduate school, I have held onto the hope that after graduation I would get my life back and gain some "me time." However, the more I look around, the more I have began to question this hope. Am I holding onto a false sense of security?

I have really began to question whether or not this sense of busyness and chaos is a phase of life - or is it my life?? Is is more my personality and not my set of circumstances? I mean I am the creator of a lot of the circumstances that make me feel so busy.

I feel called to be in graduate school, to be heading a group of high school girls, to be a wife, and to be working where I currently do. Although I feel passionate about all of these things, I am not sure we were created to carry the heavy burden that busyness carries.

Whenever I hear someone talk about how busy they are, or when I say those words, I don't feel like grace and peace of Christ fills the conversation. What I sense is anxiety.

I feel like the business in my life is a lot like the words in Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

I can look at these verses, and "that's not me, I'm not wealthy like that." However, the truth is, I live in America, and compared to the rest of the world, these verses are me.

So why is it that we fill our lives with so many things? Does it make us feel as if we're accomplishing more? Are we truly accomplishing more? What are our lives supposed to look like when it comes to our time? Have I made doing good things an idol? My mind is full of these questions.

I know all who proclaim to be followers of Christ, also proclaim to be His servants. We are each called to lay down our lives for others.

Something in my heart feels unsettled with the burden that busyness carries. I want to fill my time with things that are meaningful, but I also want to experience the joy of Christ in the meantime. How do you achieve this balance? My heart and passion is to walk so closely with Christ that I feel as if I am following his lead step by step.

I want my life to be a journey of faith.
I want to be more than just busy.

Inside E's wedding ring I had to words from Peter engraved "In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord." (1 Peter 3:15) I desperately need to be reminded that Christ is Lord of all, and my only true job is to be
busy following Him


Shannon said...

so inspiring rach. i feel the exact same way. i have had a "break" for awhile now but i know my life will fill back up with busyness soon. and i can only help but think that it is me that puts that busyness there.

thank you for the awesome reminder that the only thing i need to worry about is following Him. everything else will fall into place.

it's something that i need to be reminded of at all hours of the day. therefore, i think i will read and re-read this post a lot.

Jen said...

amen. you know i feel your pain.

my struggle is if we feel called to do all these different things that we are active in, then what goes? i feel like the only thing to cut is sleep, and that's not healthy either.

i'm going to keep digging at it too. let me know if gain any further insight on the subject.