“If the devil can’t get you to sin . . . he’ll keep you busy.”–Anne Lamott

I do not manage my time well. I hate to admit it but it’s true. At the same time I find myself still driven- by all the immediate and seemingly necessary busyness of urgent things that fill my day. Some things truly are important and a normal part of my everyday rhythm. At the same time, there are always activities and goals that are not necessary or their importance is hyped by ‘the tyranny of the urgent’. I think I need to do them, but do I really?

Purposeless, Driven Life: Is Busyness Robbing Us of a Life in GOD?

Is Busyness Robbing Us of a Life in GOD? (image by J Fowler)

In the absence of focus the immediate things become central. Our society is full of these distractions and sometimes we accept them without question because they are so deeply embedded in our routines. I use to center my evening hours around the TV show LOST- until my wife and I realized how lost we really were becoming. We are driven at a frenetic pace but are we going anywhere?

This year, I feel in my heart and spirit a challenge from the LORD not just to be focused but to develop a rhythm of life. I have to admit it’s going to be a supernatural struggle to ‘order my days aright’ but I know that living with great intention is a key aspect of authentically following JESUS. Is it any wonder that the words ‘disciple’ and ‘discipline’ spring from the same root concept?

I remember when Rick Warren’s hugely popular books ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ and ‘The Purpose Driven Church’ came out. Could it be that many of us in the American church are living a ‘purposeless, driven life’ and that’s why the book was such a hit? We are desperately treading the waters of our often visionless but raging routine- afloat in hurry sickness and the cultural values of the American Dream. But JESUS tells us: “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This isn’t about guilt and trying to earn favor with GOD through religious living. This is about finding rest for our souls (mind, will and emotions) through following the risen Messiah in a new rhythm of life.

How do we practically incorporate spiritual disciplines and pursuing GOD’s purposes for our lives into our daily routines? Are we seeing GOD’s visions and dreaming His dreams for our lives? Do you struggle with these things like I do?

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Resources:

The Root of Busyness and Its Counter-Cultural Cure [PDF by Kirk Hadden- M.Div., Intercultural Studies]

Living on Purpose: Finding God’s Best for Your Life [brilliant book on catching GOD’s vision for your life by our friends Tom and Christine Sine]

J. Fowler

J. Fowler is the website editor and co-founder, along with his wife Pamela, of the Sustainable Traditions project. The Fowlers live with their seven children on a farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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