Saturday, August 7, 2010

In Defense of Being Busy (Rant #1)

I walked into the bathroom and noticed puddles of water near the toilet.
"Emeth, did your play with the toilet brush again?"

This is what happens when my child is bored -- he gets himself in trouble. When I do not keep his little hands and feet busy, and direct his attention toward constructive activities, his little mind quickly fills with ideas, often mischievous ones.

Being busy can be a good, and even necessary, thing.

Unfortunately, busyness has gotten quite the bad reputation, especially among Christian circles. Often, it is used as an excuse for "not doing devotions" or not coming to church. There are many silly jokes about how busyness is a "weapon of Satan" or "the devil himself." I think someone ought to correct this over-simplification.

First of all, the opposite of busyness -- being idle -- gets us in trouble. The book of Proverbs speaks against sloth, again and again. I do not recall, however, the Bible speaking against being busy. Lady Wisdom is a very busy woman -- established and fruitful in her home (Proverbs 31), whereas Madame Folly is loud and flighty, here and there, gossiping and seducing.

If boredom gets little boys in trouble, idleness gets adults into trouble all the more. When we are lazy/procrastinating/bored, in other words -- not busy, we indulge in entertainment. Each of us has places we go to fulfill our own pleasures, where we are at the center of the universe.

So. Being busy can be good. We should be busy.
The question, then, should be:
Why I am busy? What is the reason for my being busy?


E! said...

bad rep in false dichotomy with "rest," no?

E! said...

and being so distracted by much busyness that one fails to choose the necessary, good portion.

Seda said...

Hey E!,
I had a whole digression that I deleted addressing just that. =) So thanks for asking.

When one is resting, it does not mean one is being unproductive, neither is one inactive. In fact, biblically speaking, "rest" ultimately points to the Sabbath, or worship. Resting is a fruitful endeavor.

Rant #2 will address what we should ask: "what am I busy doing?" and "why I am busy?"

Seda said...

p/s yes, I agree with you. I'll explain where this is coming from in Rant #2. =)

Jean Tsen said...

i love how God keeps using all these precious yet easily overlookable moments combined with your analogy-driven mind to teach u!