Thursday, January 28, 2010

Can busyness ever be a positive thing?

Good morning my friends. Life is about seasons and at the moment I am in one of the busiest seasons of my life. It happens sometimes doesn't it, when the train seems to have pulled out without you and you spend your days trying to catch up with it? On those days we need to ask ourselves what we are doing and why are we doing it? Does this busyness have a Christ-centered purpose or is it about personal gain? If I had a choice about my days I would try to simplify a few things but my day is comprised of doing things for other people and contains very little activity that I personally gain from. If I could I would walk away but I am compelled by the love of Christ to serve. In this my Lord sustains me but many people are walking around exhausted as they pursue this shadowy thing called wealth and comfort.

Now I don't mean that everyone out there is trying to become the next millionaire but we do have the vast majority of people trying to get ahead in life. Some would ask what the problem with that is and I would answer there is no problem at all, if it remained a part of your life and not the purpose. Remember, we are a new creation with new priorities because of a new perspective. We no longer consider our life's purpose to be the pursuit of personal comfort because we have been given a greater purpose. Paul wrote concerning this to Timothy:

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

Yesterday, in the careers class I teach in our High School, I had to instruct them on the way the working world works. I explained that at the moment the greatest value they had was minimum wage. They had no education and no experience to add value to themselves. It is as they add education and experience to themselves that their value starts increasing so that they are able to attract higher wages. Even once they are hired by a company they can increase their value in that company through further education and training. If they do not put in the effort then they will not increase their value and they will remain a minimum wage earner. This is okay until it takes over the purpose of our lives. When "getting ahead" consumes us we become unbalanced and we lose sight of our true purpose. This is why we need to heed the warning Paul gave to Timothy.

We have been invited into an incredible relationship with our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a relationship that requires time to develop after our initial introduction. We need to get to know Jesus and as we get to know him we also get to know the Father. This relationship changes us as we spend time with Jesus. We gain more of his perspective of what is important and our priorities change. We begin to understand our purpose and we give priority to the things of eternity instead of the temporal. We begin to see God's purpose in the work of our hands and in the relationships in our life. We can use Paul's words to describe this because in this relationship we are pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. These are the things in our life that are a priority for increase more so than our earthly treasures of wealth and possessions.

It comes down to the question of what you are taking hold of as the center of your life. Are you taking hold of "the American Dream" or of eternal life? That choice is what will shape you for the rest of your life and for all eternity. It would be a shame to get to the end of your life only to realize as Solomon did that it was all for nothing; that it was a worthless effort. There are so many wasted lives that are being lived right now, don't add to it with your own. Learn what is of priority to God and pursue those things with all your heart. The fact is that busyness happens in life but make sure it is a busyness with positive eternal consequences.


Diane Webb said...

Thank you. I needed that this morning!

John Wealth said...

Pastor Paul, what a good reminder? This should serve as a 'wakening call' for the many who run after the desires of the world. Prioritize the Lord & you stand to gain the most! (viz., Ps.16:8, Math.6:33)

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