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On worshiping the schedule.

March 2, 2011

A recent article in Relevant magazine said something that had me cringing on my pedestal of “busier than thou” superiority…it said “busyness is a modern status symbol, the currency of social capital. We lament this situation and yet still brag about it—even while it overwhelms us.”

This embarasses me because my idol is busyness. I’ve recognized (off and on, at least) for years now that I’m not content until I’m overwhelmed. I allow more and more to load onto my plate until I can’t possibly find time for rest, silence, thinking…time for the things that can be tough. I choose chaos, believe that the more I plan and organize, the more control I will have. Because I can’t seem to find control when it is just me and my thoughts, I plan concrete activities instead, trusting that I won’t be left alone with my worries and dreams until late at night when my heart is pounding from too much stress and…caffeine.

What is the solution? Well, the steps Relevant gives are a good start, with lots of practical things to think about. I do believe, however, that it takes more than 10 steps- it is an entire attitude adjustment. It is about letting go of the walls and the pride that keep me from admitting to myself that I don’t have all the answers, and that when I leave margin in my life for thought, prayer, and reflection, I come to some hard questions that I don’t enjoy wrestling with. It means releasing this feeling of security that comes with feeling needed and “in demand”- something I feel when I say yes to all sorts of requests people have. I over-commit because I like to be included, wanted, needed…to feel valuable to the people in my life. This attitude change also involves saying yes to peace. To LET the peace of Christ rule my heart, and choose quiet over chaos, without being ashamed of not being busy.

The next time someone tells me about their awful, busy schedule, and I feel the urge to one-up them with the number of Bible studies and extra classes I’m in, I hope I don’t do it. I hope I graciously say that God is teaching me about margin and calm. He is, it just hasn’t been suited to my schedule until I decide to make room for peace.

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