In my usual internet roamings, I ran across an interesting article detailing why we as Americans love anti-Sabbath. The title of the article "The Pride of Busyness" (find it here). The author, Mason Slater, points out some very obvious patterns in our American speech practices and shines light on how our lives point to our love of anti-Sabbath and show our pride in our busyness.
The first clue to our overwhelming passion for our overburdened schedules are the conversations we have after not seeing someone for a period of time. You know the conversation I am talking about. The one where you ask how they have been recently. Yeah, that one. The basic content of many of those conversations is each side laying out how busy they have been recently. We have all had those conversations, and maybe we continue to have those conversations. We say we hate being so busy. We say we long for a day of rest. We say we just want a break. However, we continue to repeat these conversations time and time again which says something about how we really feel. As Slater points out, "Those short conversations give us a glimpse of the way people view the world, because it is often the little day to day practices that reveal our deepest values." What do those conversations reveal? They show just how proud we are of our busyness, and they show that we are "not very secretly proud either." We are blatant in our pride towards our busyness. val
The article says it so well (you should check it out), but the saddest part about this is what our foolish pride causes us to miss. Sure we get a lot accomplished, but in the meantime we forget.
"...we forget how to sit,
and read for pleasure,
and have a real conversation with friend, or family member or spouse
and savor a drink for its flavor and complexities, not its ability to chemically induce either wakefulness or sleep."
God, particularly in his commands regarding Sabbath, calls us to remember. Yet, we fall prey to the gospel of busyness. Even though, this gospel is one of those false teachers Jesus and Paul warn us about, promising one thing and delivering another. Rather than following the true gospel, which is a call to remember we choose to forget.
How do we break this cycle, this exchange of pleasantries that shows our true colors. Let me once again quote Mason Slater, "So the next time you catch up with a friend, refrain from contributing to the cycle. Refuse to brag about busyness as if it were a virtue, refuse to act like making time to rest is a mark of shame. If the very God who designed us thought that balancing work with the rest was worthwhile, perhaps we should give it a try."
I agree Mason, we should give it a try.
If you've read this blog you know that those who have contributed to this blog are planning to spend some intentional time together this week in Idaho. I pray that we "give it a try", that as we gather together and reconnect that we don't disguise our love of anti-Sabbath, our pride of busyness in our lists of been dones and to-be-dones. I pray that we find space to live in the presence of God and remember, to remember a God who was so loving that he commanded us to take a day to enjoy him, he'll take care of the busy work.