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Sonlit Acres

Encouraging sustainable living


Busyness is the biggest obstacle for most of the people in our society. As far as overcoming this obstacle, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s not terribly difficult to understand what must be done to beat busyness. The bad news, though, is that most people, even the ones who know what they should do to overcome this obstacle, still find it to be an enormous challenge to actually do something about the busyness of their lives.

As a result, they remain over-extended, even to the point where their relationship with God and spiritual growth along with their marriages become a low priority.

If busyness appears to be a major stumbling block in your life, know that you can do something about it. You must make a choice, though. You must choose to simplify your life.

What exactly does that mean? It means that you adopt a lifestyle that allows you the room for the things that matters most in this world: loving God, working your family relationships, and genuinely loving those around you. That may entail choosing to do fewer things in life, choosing to make space for you, learning to sometimes say no.

Some understandably protest at this point: But I can’t just say no to my boss, to my kids, to my spouse, to my pastor, to all those who need me! I have no options here! That may be true today. Because of your current responsibilities, you may have very few options for beating busyness at this moment, but you can certainly work toward a lifestyle that is less complex, less crowded, and less cumbersome. If your job is the culprit, you can set goals to work fewer hours, or maybe get a different job eventually.

If child care responsibilities are the culprit, you can set the goal to get more help with the kids. If your well-intended service to others is the culprit, you might have to back off some of those altruistic activities. For example, you might have to make a decision to do less in your church, or community as heretical as that might sound at first. Ironically, and tragically, many people have become so busy doing things for God and others that they have all but eliminated the available time to know and love their own families.

For some, choosing a simpler lifestyle may mean putting an end to the toxic accumulation of possessions in your life. Our culture is plagued by the passion to possess. The unreasonable boast abounds that the good life is found in accumulation that more is better. Indeed, we often accept this notion without question, with the result that the lust for affluence in our society has become psychotic: it has completely lost touch with reality. Furthermore, the pace of the modern world accentuates our sense of being fractured and fragmented. We feel strained, hurried, and breathless. The complexity of rushing to achieve and accumulate more and more frequently threatens to overwhelm us; it seems that there is no escape from the rat race.

Living simply frees us from this modern mania. It brings sanity to our compulsive extravagance, and peace to our frantic spirit. It allows us to see material things for what they are:  goods to enhance life, not to oppress life.

The point here is that most of us have chosen our lifestyle and our priorities. Accordingly, we have chosen the level of busyness that accompanies that lifestyle. And if our level of busyness is a choice, we also choose to move toward the opposite of an over-extended life. We can choose a life without hurry, a life of serenity, a life of control, a life of balance. If one chooses to live such a life.

Just remember that the bottom line in all of this is that by God’s grace, any of us can choose to be less busy. Choose a life that puts God at the center, rather than one that relegates God to being just one more thing on the to-do list.


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