We’re all too busy, or so it seems. The word busy is my go-to when people ask me “How are you?” For I am always busy; there are always tasks that need to be done.
At times I feel a little guilty about that. After all, for some people busy seems to be a bad word. There’s the implication that you are trying to do too much, or that you don’t have your priorities straight. Sometimes that’s true, but not always.
About 30 years ago I bought a book by Tim Hensel called When I Relax I feel Guilty. Truth is, it was more for my wife than for me – I’m busy, but usually am able to walk away from that busyness and shut things down. Still, there are always questions about work/life balance, things that should be examined at least.
That is why I was eager to read Doing Busy Better, by Glynnis Whitwer. The subtitle foreshadows the rest of the book: “Enjoying Gods gifts of work and rest.”
Whitwer understands that people are different. Some people are just too busy and need to cut back on what they are doing, but others really do have a need to be always busy – that is just the way they are wired. This is a book for both types.
What made this a great read is that I never got the feeling Whitwer was lecturing me, telling me what I need to do. Instead, she encourage self-discovery and an evaluation of what it is that makes a person busy, and whether that busyness makes sense for the individual. Her focus is what God’s original intention was for us humans and how we live up to that, or fail to do so.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that most of us don’t spend enough time reflecting on our lives and our activities. On the beach this month, as part of my annual vacation, I took the time to slow down and consider the message of this book. It is not an attack on “busyness” but a call to occasionally pull back and ensure that you are using your time wisely. That may lead to a decision to become less busy – but it might not.
After all, as Whitwer points out, Jesus himself is recorded as having taken the time away from the crowds, away from his work, to reflect and recharge. And if you study The Bible you can see how God looks at work and busyness.
For example, though I have often looked at the creation story, I hadn’t thought of it from a busyness perspective. Given that an all-powerful God could have created the universe and everything in it in one day, why did He take six? Is this an example we should be following, an example of work-life balance that goes beyond the establishment of a Sabbath?
This book is aimed primarily at a female audience; you can tell that from the cover. In some ways that is a shame – men can be overly busy also. As I read I mentally replaced “woman” with “man” in a number of places, as I found that the words were just as applicable to members of both sexes.
If you have spent time recently wondering if you are trying to do too much, if the stress of everything that is on your plate at times seems overwhelming, maybe you should take the time to read this book.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”