3 Reasons Busyness is Not Cool
I had pretty much been on a fast track in 2015, trying to get mine and “make it." I had just enrolled for a short course, I was working two jobs, serving at church, starting up a new project while already heavily involved in another, and had countless other side hustles. I was not consciously trying to live my life that way, but the current age requires it and celebrates it.
Whilst all this was going on, I was beyond exhaustion and lacking inspiration. One night, I had that deep feeling of inadequacy despite everything I was supposedly doing in my life. I was tired, and had a “before you close your eyes” prayer asking God for a break. The following day, I fell into a manhole.
Despite how tragic that whole period was, and how robbed I felt of not only time but a slimmer figure, I realized this is why you need to slow down.
Here are three reasons busyness is not cool:
You are not really spending time on Jesus
All the projects I was involved in were adding to my development and probably my resume, but nonetheless, I was not really focused on the person behind those things. When I had a sudden interruption to my busy life, I began to realise that if everything I was already doing was taken away, would I still be secure in my character and my identity in Christ? When chasing the dream, you sometimes lose who God intended you to be, which is a person in relationship with Jesus. I began to realise that I was not secure in my standing with God and needed all that stuff to fill up my time.Without them, I felt empty and lacking purpose. Sometimes the enemy clouds our intimacy with Christ (which is where we find our true meaning and purpose) with activity and you miss seeing that those things should not be the source of your identity or purpose. I thought my being always preoccupied brought glory to God, but busyness does not. In as much as you might need that day off, spa treatment or sleeping in, nothing will give you rest other than the Creator of time. In spending time on you, which is really with Him, He fuels your desire, grace, and passion for those things.
There key relationships that need your attention
Before the manhole accident, I was all about networking, opportunities and meeting people, and being at prayer group on time without fail. I had a case of the ‘fear of missing out-is’. It might sound all good and wonderful; however I was forced to be home for months thereafter the accident. In busyness, I hadn’t realised the gaps in certain relationships that were important that I had overlooked. I didn’t notice that my mum missed me and the fact that I was her dishwasher, or there are certain friends I just didn’t check on anymore. We never realise how important these relationships are until we are at a point of need. So maybe in your hustle, you are neglecting certain people in your life. I dare say, it is okay to miss prayer group or a client’s meeting to meet that friend, because possibly you are going to be an encouragement to them or them to you, or perhaps you just need a good laugh and a good catching up. Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to continue meeting and encouraging one another, even if that encouragement comes in the form of sacrificing something else you would rather be doing. I challenge you to consider others in your place.
It is okay even if you are not making it
Your focus on making it, looking for a job, or trying to improve yourself can make you miss the success of achievement in small things, or even worse, just being grateful. I started to take my focus off the chase I was on when I had the downtime, and started noticing the small things and how amazing life can be even if I do not become everything I dream for myself. I started to take pleasure in mundane activities like doing dishes (I really do not like doing dishes), just making it to work that day, or in my case really mastering the art of the crutches. I started looking for things to be grateful for even when I felt there were none, and as a result, my perspective changed. I had a deeper sense of appreciation for people and their struggles and had an empathy that I otherwise would not have had. I realised that not succeeding is not the worst thing that could happen and I found pleasure in my relationship with God and people. There were moments of total despair, but there was greater comfort in God and laying of solid foundations in faith, character and perseverance.
Your busy-ness might be taking away from necessary realisations that you need to make about yourself. So next time your life faces major interruption, delay, or a complete halt (like mine did), it’s okay. You are more than just the struggle, or the busyness. You are His.
Lesego Barona Otlhabanye is from Botswana, a graduate on the work hustle in research and product development. She founded Rising Tswana, a platform especially for African Christian Writers and others to share their stories, creativity and testimonies. Lesego is a Global Shaper at the Gaborone Hub and thoroughly enjoys good company, awesome food (and by food she means meat) and is constantly trying to quit coffee.