Recently, someone in my microchurch admitted they were selfish and didn’t know how to break out of it. Selfishness is more widespread than we believe…
Yesterday’s post dealt with selfishness that is the result of being sucked into our consumeristic culture. Today’s post is related, but from a different angle…
Many of us are so busy that we may feel like we’re “running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” As a rule, chickens that have their heads cut off run around for a little while and then drop dead (there have been very rare exceptions). Our lives, if we’re not careful, can end up like that–we’ll run around like crazy for a little while, and then drop dead. We’ll have been very busy, but will our busyness have any real purpose or meaning?
Most of it will not.
Our culture encourages busyness. We want to be “productive.” Unfortunately, we’ve equated busyness with productivity. Even worse, we’ve equated busyness with significance. We pack our schedules so tightly with work, kid’s activities, activities for self–the list goes on and on. What ends up happening? We have no time for stuff that really matters.
There are some things we cannot help. Our jobs are one of those areas. We have to work, and usually the hours our boss gives us. Some of us have jobs that, when quittin’ time comes, we can leave at work. Some of us do not–we have paperwork that has to get done at home, etc.
There are some areas we can help. Some of us with kids have them scheduled for a ton of activities, and most of our evenings are consumed with them. Yeah, we want our kids to be well rounded, but by having them do piano, karate, soccer, and scouts, aren’t we teaching them that busyness equals significance (aside from the fact that they’ll be a jack of many trades, but master of none)?
Think about this: we’re very good at compartmentalizing our lives. We have work, home, church, activities, etc. Each area consumes a slice of life, like a pie chart. Many of us who follow Jesus see the idea of “serving others” as another compartment of life… something else to add to the schedule. And what happens? We don’t have time. We’re… so… busy.
Yesterday’s post mentioned a story Jesus told about a rich dude who was very busy. He was a farmer–and farming is a busy occupation. He built his wealth up through busyness on the job. He had a huge surplus… which he kept for himself. The result–he lost his life because he wasn’t rich toward God. Our busyness is often (not always, but often) related to us–our wants, our needs, our desires. Everyone else, God included, gets pushed out of the picture.
What would it look like if we “redeemed our time”? First, what are the areas of our life that we can simplify? We may not be able to cut our work hours (some of us could), but what other areas of life can we simplify so that our schedules are less crowded? Second, what would it look like if we allowed God to change our attitudes, perspectives, and lives to the point that we don’t add a compartment for serving others like Jesus did, but see the things we do–the job, the activities, etc.–as mission fields, channels to express and pour out God’s love? What if we were always looking for opportunities to ambush people with God’s love in the midst of our lives instead of in addition to them.
To simplify it: what if we actually started living life as God intended, imitating Jesus?
Leave some feedback: what areas of your life are you busy, but not productive; busy, but not significant? What needs to be done in order to redeem your time?
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how our own problems actually increase our selfishness.