The Sirens Of Busyness

The Sirens of Busyness are singing.

Can you hear them?

I can. Very clearly.

 

[If you don’t remember much from Greek mythology, you likely remember the imagery of the Sirens.

Half-birds, half beautiful maidens, the Sirens were singing enchantresses capable of luring passing sailors to their islands, and, subsequently, to their doom. Daughters of the river god Achelous and a Muse, they were fated to die if anyone should survive their singing. When Odysseus passed them by unharmed, they hurled themselves into the sea and were drowned. You can read more about them here.]

 

In our culture, and in many other cultures, “busyness” is worn with like a badge. It’s celebrated as an achievement. It’s complained about as “the cross we must bear.” It’s worshipped like a god.

And this past year, first with the quarantine and then with the continued impact of the pandemic, we saw just how much of a god busyness has become.

People felt lost without their packed schedules.

Anxiety set in when there was so much time suddenly available. Many felt like they had to just do something. Anything.

 

And this quest to remain busy, merely revealed a god we had long been worshipping.

Even above The God.

 

Maybe you call this god by a different name than “Busy.”

Maybe you call it “Normal.”

 

Let me confess, that I worshipped at the altar of this god alongside most of you. That why I know it so well. Because this god had become my god too.

And I can hear the Sirens of this god calling back out to me again.

It’s like an enchanting echo. Calling out to me to come back.

And yet, I know what it leads to. The pandemic exposed it for me. Maybe it did for you too?

 

Anxiety.

Shallowness.

Vanity.

Stress.

Weariness.

 

Whether we want to admit it or not, the answers we seek for the deep longing in our soul will not be solved by going back to this god.

Going back to busyness.

Going back to “normal.”

 

How do I know? Because I did. For a couple weeks. About a month ago.

 

I had a 2 week stretch that “felt” like life before the pandemic.

Breakneck pace.

Laundry list of things to do.

Public attention for what was being done.

 

It was as if my soul was screaming the whole time: STOP. But I couldn’t. I had already been drawn into the rocks.

 

If this pandemic has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that our culturally accepted “pace of life” rarely ever matches up with Jesus’ pace of life for me.

It’s certainly not that all of life should be slow.

But I can also say it’s definitely not the opposite as well.

 

There’s a rhythm to how Jesus lived his life and desires for us to live ours. And for too long we’ve ignored it. We’ve simply opted for the culturally acceptable path of least resistance: busy.

But Jesus has a better plan than busy.

It’s called abundant.

 

This abundant life is a life of balance. Of boundaries. Of boldness.

 

And if we want to recover it, it will require a fight. It won’t merely come easily at first. It will require silencing the voices of the sirens

It will require Sabbath.

 

Not a day of laziness.

Not a day of “church activity.”

Not a day of catching up on chores.

Not a day of hobbies.

Not a day of “prepping for the week.”

 

A day of rest. Truly finding rest for our souls. Resting in the presence of God.

A day of relationships. Truly relating on a soul level. Relationships with others who are also resting in the presence of God.

A day of re-creation. Truly re-setting ourselves to the rhythms of God’s creation. Re-centering our lives within the will of God.

A day of remembering. Truly reminding ourselves who God is, who we are in Him, who He desires us to be, and how we are fully satisfied only in Him. Retelling the stories God’s people and the stories of God’s work in our lives today.

I can hear the Sirens of busyness singing: Come back.
But I can feel the Spirit of the living God urging: Come home.

I can hear the Sirens of busyness singing: Come back.

But I can feel the Spirit of the living God urging: Come home.

 

The god of busyness will not satisfy. Because like all false gods, it cannot deliver the abundant life it allures me to believe it can.

Only God can do that.

Only God will do that.

And I can only begin to experience it as I begin each week as God designed: with Sabbath.

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Son. Brother. Husband. Father. Friend. Mentor. Spiritual Director. Consultant. Student. Communicator. Organizer.

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