This season is what you might call “intensely active.” I’ve known it was coming for a while. Could see it’s approach like storm clouds on the horizon. Even had a date in my mind that marked the “beginning of the end” of 2016…a date where all activity ramped up and didn’t really settle down until 10 PM on December 24th. Between hosting conferences and events and traveling and training and work projects and home projects and logistics prep for Christmas Eve services…and…and…and…well, it’s active.
And while it’s an active season, it’s a fun season. There’s not one single thing I’m involved in that I’m not enjoying (except maybe one of those home projects which involves skill I don’t have). Everything I’m doing, I said yes to because it really excited me. The projects at hand are with people I love to work alongside. Some of the travel has been with my bride, which is always a bonus and has provided some new memories together (the picture accompanying this post comes from last weekend’s stop through Times Square, which seems oddly metaphorical to the subject at hand). There hasn’t been a day when I’ve opened my eyes and thought, “Oh no. Not this again.”
But active seasons and fun seasons don’t always go hand in hand. As I mentioned, Merriem and I knew this temporary land of crazy was coming. We signed off on it. Planned for it. Prepped our kids for it. And gratefully, we can see the light at the end of it. Even so, this morning I decided to go back to the recent, instant classic on busyness, Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung, and remind myself of a few key truths I’m bound to forget in the middle of a season like this one…
- “We have more opportunity than ever before…[t]he result then, is simple but true: because we can do so much, we do do so much.”
- “Margin is the space between our load and our limits.” (Richard Swenson)
- “As I try to discern what’s people-pleasing, self-aggrandizing pride, and what’s genuine service to others, I try to keep in mind this simple question: Am I trying to do good or to make myself look good?“
- “Jesus knew his priorities and stuck with them…He was not driven by the needs of others, though he often stopped to help hurting people. He was not driven by the approval of others, though he cared deeply for the lost and the broken. Ultimately, Jesus was driven by the Spirit…He knew his priorities and did not let the many temptations of a busy life deter him from his task.”
- “God gives us the Sabbath as a gift; it’s an island of get-to in a sea of have-to.”
- “Idleness is not a mere indulgence or vice. It is necessary to get anything done.”
How are you doing at checking your busyness? Better: how are you doing at checking your crazyness? As for me, I plan to take advantage of the next 36 hours to have some intentional idleness before the next thing kicks in. I will – as one pastor puts it – do nothing to the glory of God. I’m going to pursue an island of get-to in a sea of have-to. Busy isn’t bad. Crazy busy is.