Engaged in action, being in use, full of activity, foolishly or intrusively active or full of distracting detail: does this sound familiar? This is Merriam Webster’s definition of busyness and sounds like a lifestyle we are all very accustomed to. The months of November and December bring about a common thread of busyness in most peoples lives. But- what if we were just as good at creating time to actually absorb the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas and not just rush through it? What if we were able to take great joy in Jesus this season? I don’t mean the kind of joy that lets you soak up those around you, but the joy that allows you to soak up THE ONE most worthy of our time?
We live in a society that applauds the lifestyle with no margin. A society that screams, “ON TO THE NEXT THING.” We see this in our calendars and planners with no white space. We see this in the perpetual answer of “So busy” to the question “How are you??” We see this with relentless deadlines at work. We see this in our bank accounts as we keep up with the expectations of Christmas morning and Cooking Network dinners. Culture breeds this lifestyle and we choose to continue cultivating it.
What if God has so much more for us? I have an exciting thing to share… HE DOES. He wants our affection EVEN during the holiday time. He desires for us to be less caught up in society’s version of Christmas and more caught up in His. Luke 2:12 shows us that God sees value in simplicity. Jesus was born in a manger wrapped in swaddling cloths. This simplicity points us to the humbleness that God ultimately used to save us.
Continuing in Luke 12, the shepherds traveled to Bethlehem and shared what they had been told by the angels. Mary listened and not only heard, “but treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 12: 19). God continues to reveal himself to us daily, but how often do we miss Him due to our busyness? Our heart is so distracted by our busyness that we miss the many opportunities to treasure and savor what He has done and is continuing to do.
Now I’m sure many of you are in the same boat as I am as we ask how to do this? I think the most simple answer is to spend time before the Lord. Hands open. Asking Him some of the questions below and building in the time and space to truly listen and hear his answers:
Questions to ask in our busyness…
- Where am I falling into the lies that joy comes from more busyness and less margin?
- What do I feel like I have to prove with my busyness?
- How can I simplify life to expand my view of Christ during this season?
- What does my time tell about what is important in my life?
- What expectations am I putting on myself during this holiday season?
- What ways can my family create room to treasure and ponder Christ?
My prayer is that the Lord would be gracious in convicting us in areas that need conviction and give us a willingness to be obedient, even when it goes directly against our flesh. I am a doer and love to be on-the-go. This is something the Lord has been working out in me and I can say there is a deeper feeling of worth, identity, and freedom on this side of simplicity. Barriers have to be made to protect us from the life with no margin. It is hard. But it is worth it! Seeing Jesus more clearly, treasuring Him and pondering the work He has accomplished brings a sense of deep contentment. May the definition of busyness not define our lives but our lives be radically shifted by abiding in and treasuring Him. Let’s replace the word busy with simple in hopes of seeking true joy through Christ this season.