It’s official: we have now entered into –
The Busy Season.[cue eerie Twilight Zone music]
I feel it and see it especially around this time of year with the beginning of a new school year, new sports seasons, and all the end-of-the year holidays and festivities. Funny thing is I wrote about this same exact subject last year and I’ve had to go back and re-read my own words on how to Survive the Busyness Epidemic.
It’s like a gigantic tidal wave, a tsunami of activities and responsibilities rushing toward us as we relax on a beautiful and peaceful beach. At first, it starts small but then suddenly all our activities and responsibilities mount up so high until suddenly, almost without warning, we can’t handle them anymore and they crash right over us, wiping us out and leaving us drowning in an overwhelming wave of pressure.
We struggle to get to the surface for air, flail our arms around and desperately grasp for something solid to hold onto as the wave of busy pulls and tugs us and tosses us all about.
And then, as we find ourselves drowning under the pressure of all our commitments, we ask ourselves –
Why did I do this to myself? Why did I do this to my family? Why are we so busy?
If the devil can’t stop you, he’ll make you too busy.
A friend of mine shared this nugget of wisdom her mother shared with her to remind her of the dangers of getting too busy.
There are many reasons why we, as a society, have let Busyness take over our lives.
For some, it fills a gap. A gap that we are aware of, even if only subconsciously. We feel that something is missing from our lives, and we fill this gap through constant activity or a series of achievements and milestones.
We yearn for meaning in our lives, something beyond ourselves.
We also hope that in our constant array of activities, we will find some sort of meaningful satisfaction to fill that unknown gap. We want joy, we want fulfillment, we want happiness.
For Christians who desire to live their lives in service to Christ, we want all that we do to play a significant role in making all our works important. Most often, our busyness starts out with good and honorable intentions. We feel obligated to “waste not” our time with frivolity and instead make sure that each moment we live is, in some way, part of the great work of “Spreading the Gospel.”
We sign-up for programs, donation drives, committees and task-forces hoping that through all of our busy “works” we will serve God and make the time He gives us meaningful to Him, for us, and for other people.
We enroll our children in endless activities because we want them to become all that God has made them to be and live out all their potential. We want to give them a full and meaningful life.We try to give the world to them and hold nothing back.
We want them to find meaning in knowing God and in living a good Christian life. We enroll them in religion classes and plug them into all the church camps and clubs, hoping that by keeping them constantly engaged in all these good and virtue-building activities, they will grow up to become “good Catholics.”
But after a while, if we allow ourselves to be ruled by our busy schedules, our search for meaning in all that we do actually paralyzes us and sucks the joy out of life and our families. We become overwhelmed and even sickened by our own busyness. We can even become addicted to our busyness.
In the swirl of our constant activities, we end up losing sight of ourselves, our children, our spouses – even God. We become so focused on what we are doing, we completely forget the why and the who that matters most.
Eventually the pressure becomes too strong and we crash – miserably – taking our families and marriages and other relationships down with us.
If the devil can’t stop you [from serving God], he’ll make you too busy [to serve God].
So what do we do? Do we just sit at home and go nowhere?
When our lives become so busy we can’t remember the last time we had a moment to sit and do nothing, that’s when we –
Stop. Drop. and Pray.
Go to church, to an Adoration chapel, sit in your room, kneel on your bathroom floor by yourself, wherever you can find a quiet place.
Give your heart over to Jesus – and pray.
Tell him everything you have to do, everything you’d like to do, everything you can’t do but need to.
And then, give it all up – to Him.
Take time to prayerfully look at your list of commitments and activities. Discern which ones are truly necessary and which ones you could let go of, even if only temporarily. Then, give the rest to God and ask Him to let these works strengthen your Faith and allow the Lord to work through you.
In this way, all that you do attains a deeper level of significance – it becomes a holy offering that the Lord can use to transmit his love and mercy to you and others. And in this, you will find true meaning in what you do.
Dearest Jesus, I give my life to you. I give you all of my to-do’s, all my desires, all my burdens. Everything. Take away what I do not need right now, fill me with your grace to accomplish what You want of me in this moment, today, tomorrow, and the next day. May everything I do, become a holy offering to You – for your Will and your Glory. Amen.
Copyright 2015 Erika Marie.
Image: Evil Erin, Aaahhh!!!, Flickr, Some Rights Reserved. Modified by Erika Marie