May is such a busy month. It is a time when I want to honor mothers, celebrate graduations, shower gifts on brides-to-be, plan Memorial Day picnics and attend end-of-the-school-year festivities. I have a lot of scheduled events that mirror a Christian view of how to use my time.
But, it is not just May that is full of things to do. My whole life, like that of many others, is made up of personal busyness. This is not always a good thing. The Bible does speak of honest work and avoiding idleness, but it doesn't condone the way I sometimes use self-induced busyness as an excuse for sin.
For example, I try to make the most of each morning. I get ready for my job, cook and do laundry, read online news, finish ministry tasks and play a few brain games on my tablet. Much of my activity has spiritual value. And yet, sometimes I am so busy with my to-do list that I don't have time to seek God before I leave for work. This isn't good for my soul. I allow the less worthy pursuits to crowd out life's eternally significant things.
Another result of over-scheduling is that I am overwhelmed, distracted and irritable. "We've gone too far in terms of using 'I'm very busy' as a 'Get Out of Being Polite/Considerate/Attentive Free' card," wrote Gina Barreca* in a Hartford Courant op-ed piece about busyness. When my own standards take precedence over God's will, tasks are more important than people. And, it is hard to love people when you feel they have interrupted your personal agenda for the day.
In addition, I accept the lie that I am a loser if I am not busy accomplishing something the culture deems worthy. Barreca said, "We made ourselves feel significant by believing that the busier we became, the more significant we were." Instead, my standing comes from Christ and His view of what is important. This means that I should not be too busy to serve Him in even the unglamorous ways, like sacrificing my time for an unlovely church member.
Maintaining godly priorities is a challenge. But, I know that if I neglect my relationship with God or am stingy with my love and service to others, I am not glorifying to Him. I need to consider how filling my time with endless tasks crowds out more important things. And, I am not too busy for that.
*Note: As far as I know, Ms. Barreca does not confess faith in Christ. However, she has some insightful things to say from time-to-time.