20 May When Did Busy Become A Virtue?
Recently a friend of mine asked me a very simple question. “How are you?” And I answered like so many of us with one of two innocuous responses. “Fine” and “busy”. A good friend, he responded, “I am concerned. You are always busy.” Concerned? A rebuke? For being busy? But I thought busy was a virtue. I know I certainly feel better about myself when I am busy and measurably productive. Plus, I’ve come to subtly enjoy the reputation of being busy. Upon further analysis, I began to see not just a pattern but a problem.
When did busy become a virtue? Scripture is replete of passages and warnings against idleness and slothfulness. But is busy, as most of us define the term, really producing the life of Christ in us? His virtue flowing through us or simply another “work”, the adherence to which produces a high of self-righteousness. As it is a work, like all works, it will eventually enslave. And this new law, enabled by the 21st taskmaster of communication connectivity and workdays with no boundaries, provides the atmosphere for this deception to prosper. Bricks without straw yet the continual demand for more. We are now expected to be busy all the time, anywhere. Our iPacifiers testify against us. Yet anything that somehow validates and gives one value beyond Christ Himself should be held suspect as a counterfeit deity.
WWJD. WJB? Was Jesus busy? Deliberate, yes. Busy, no. In a hurry? Consider Lazarus on his deathbed and His response. We see God interacting with Adam, walking with him in fellowship. No picture of busy. And if we hold Christ as the true model for our discipleship, we might need to reexamine not only our calendars and our rhythm of life but the consequential effects on our souls as well.
“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:1-2.