Another Four Letter Word
By Rosemary Flaaten –
Four letter words have a reputation for being foul, slang, or crude. The vocabulary we choose reflects our values. Popular usage can change the conventional meaning of a word. There is a four letter word which, by definition, simply means “being actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime.” By definition, “busy” is not a bad word.
I was recently contacted with a last-minute request to speak at a conference. The organizer admitted that she hesitated to call me because she felt she would be bothering me because I was so busy. I realized that I portray my life as busy. I have bought into the frantic pace of our society that equates busyness with worth, and stillness with laziness. Heaven forbid if I am caught being still.
Godliness reflects the opposite. Jesus beckons us to come away with Him and to learn His unforced rhythms of life. Studying the way that Jesus, with a limited time frame, interacted and lived out His mission, we would be hard-pressed to find Him looking busy or responding that He was too busy to meet the needs of the people around Him. His value did not come from being busy.
“Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10 NIV). As treasured children of the Most High God our value does not come from what we do. Rather, it is our connectedness to God which spawns our values and propels our actions. Time alone with God does not diminish our capacity for accomplishments. Rather, it fuels it. Martin Luther is noted as saying that he had so much work to do that he needed to spend the first three hours in his day in prayer. When our hearts are stilled we are recharged, making our work more effective, which also results in less busyness.
I am choosing to make my vocabulary match my values and for that reason I resolve to not give credence to a word that insidiously shapes my actions. I am eradicating from my vocabulary the four letter word – BUSY. In doing so I am charting a course of Christ-like stillness of spirit within activity.
PRAYER: O Lord, show me how to be still.
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”