Our culture is obsessed with busyness. The more and more I live and work here in the United States, the more apparent this becomes. A “strong work ethic” means basically working yourself to death. It seems that in many places it’s just expected that you’ll be sacrificing friends and family when you enter “the real world.” Perhaps we save enough to pay for our kids’ college education, but I’m not sure we’ve counted the cost of losing precious time with them. Maybe we can afford that TV and even a bit of travel with our spouse, but we’ve lost everyday connections.
And God forbid you take a break and have fun once in a while. As a society we’ve developed a sense of guilt over taking vacations, asking for time off, etc. To balance work with rest seems to be received as lazy by many.
Why? None of this is necessary, unless you buy into the rest of the lies American culture tells you about what an “acceptable” standard of living is and what you have to do to get there.
Going deeper: being busy all the time is also another way to avoid conflict, live in denial, and keep yourself from becoming vulnerable to other people.
A life marked by constant busyness, with no rhythm of rest, is a sure way to love people less.
It seems like we Christians are some of the worst at this too. We expect our clergy to be on the clock 24/7 and bury ourselves in programs “for the Kingdom.” The destructive effects of this on our ministries and families is painfully obvious…just do some research on “pastor burnout.”
Shauna Niequist posts over at the Storyline blog:
Today, I want to communicate to my kids, through my words and my actions, that we don’t always have to be hustling, plates don’t always have to be spinning, balls don’t always have to be in the air.