Most assume the working class and those raising a family have full lives. After answering, “What are you up to?”, it’s the retiree who hears, “Well, at least you’re keeping busy (!)”
Not wanting to die of boredom, many retirees plan active lives. Soon we hear, “How did I ever find time to go to work!”
I tease newly retired couples, “You’re BOTH going to stay in the house?!” Having individual interests, or keeping active together, can contribute to good marriage maintenance.
We know that busyness can get ‘old.’ There’s always another project, another meeting, more volunteer opportunities, more grass to mow, more, more, more… I understand why some down-size from the farm to town. Feeling that there’s always something else gets wearisome.
In life’s seasons we discover the need for the rhythm of work and rest, time with others and me-time, pressing forward and laying back. Structure, discipline, and boundaries continue to serve us well.
For me, “keeping busy” is not the issue. Endless activity is like a stress test – the treadmill gets faster and steeper. We may ask, “Am I getting anywhere?” That can be dis-heartening. As much as I love to work, I don’t believe busyness fills our hearts.
Living with purpose, or a sense of mission, comes from within. Wanting to contribute, and to profit the well-being of ourselves, our family, and others is a heart matter. We need to live out of our passions. Mere busyness doesn’t cut it.
Hence, “WHY am I doing this?” is a good question. It’s not just about survival; we crave satisfaction. Will what we do have a lasting influence, particularly in the well-being of humanity.
Jesus spoke seriously of our need to think about this. He asked, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world [thru work, busyness], yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Nothing we earn, gain, or are busy doing can serve as a bargaining chip for our eternal soul.
The Bible teaches that everything on this earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10-12). Our eternal soul, and the eternal life Christ freely offers needs our attention.
Jesus continued, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man [Jesus] will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8) Busyness is no substitute for God’s favour.
The purpose of my heart is to know Jesus and to make Him known. Ultimately, nothing else will last, and nothing else will “profit”. To think economically is crucial; Jesus said so. “At least you’re keeping busy!” is NOT the main issue.
“Are you with me?”
Pastor Bill Terris