This week, the message at church was “Addiction to Busyness.” It’s part of a series called “Hooked,” in which the pastor and various guest speakers address big things that we tend to idolize, often subconsiously, and that distract us from being close to God and doing His will. I wasn’t able to go to church this week because I had to work (still waiting for my original availability request to go into effect). I didn’t listen to the podcast either. I’ve been distracted. Fitting, right?
Church or no church, however, Kurt and I always try to go growth group every other Tuesday. We meet with 4-8 other people from our church who live in our neighborhood, and we play a game, eat snacks, discuss the last two Sundays’ messages, and pray for each other. It’s mostly other couples–most with kids, some without–and the odd single. We are getting to know other humans who are also Christians, some of whom are in the same stage of life as we are. It’s great.
So this week, we talked about what’s keeping us busy, what distracts us from the important things. For most of us, and definitely me, it was “screen time.” TV, computer, phone… if it has a screen, it has our attention. This far into the information age, I imagine it’s a problem for many 1st world humans. I admitted that I am addicted to watching Bones and scrolling down Tumblr. I try to justify it with “Bones is a really good show, it’s so well-written, the science is spot-on so it’s educational, Brennan is a terrific role model [see last Saturday’s post],” but that doesn’t mean I should spend all of my free time on it. There is really no justification for the amount of time I spend on Tumblr. But at least it’s not as bad as it could be. I don’t spend all day on it; I get bored.
Regardless, it’s too much. I could be spending time on more important things, like reading my Bible, praying with Kurt, exercising, reaching out to friends, eating right, looking for writing jobs, just writing, practicing photography, maybe even painting. It’s so easy to get sucked into an activity that requires no thinking, no engaging, because we feel like we need a distraction from real life. Zoning out and letting responsibilities just slip away is easier than facing life head-on, but that doesn’t make it right. I always feel so much better about myself–body and soul–when I get something productive done or just spend time doing NOTHING. Not wasting time on the internet. Just nothing. Sitting and letting myself be at peace with God and with myself. There is nothing more relaxing. It’s not easy, if you’re not used to it, but even if you’re not a believer, I highly recommend it. Allow yourself to be bored. It’s okay. Don’t search for peace; let peace come to you.
Well that got a way from me a bit. Basically, I busy myself with screen time to avoid being productive. Then I busy myself with productivity when i could be allowing myself to be at peace with Jesus. It’s definitely a hard habit to break, but I know it will help all other aspects of my life, to reorganize my priorities to 1) Jesus, 2) loved ones, 3) work, and 4) free time. Wish me luck/pray for me! 🙂
What keeps you busy? Leave a comment! 🙂