We live in the age of busyness. A couple of years ago I made the observation that when I first entered ministry when I would ask someone, “How are you doing?” They would politely respond, “Fine.” Now when I ask someone, “How are you doing?” People are more likely to respond, “Busy.” And I find myself, too often, responding the same way.
Our society, and unfortunately we as Christians also, have made “busyness” a virtue. Somehow we have accept the notion that the one who is busy or better, harried is somehow more important. Busyness, while not equal to productivity, has become a value. We don’t want to appear to be “lazy.” We even have aphorisms that teach us, “If you want to get something done, find a busy person.”
I admit, it is easy for me to say “yes” to too many activities. So how do you decide?What is it that invigorates you?
What is it that drains you?
We’ve begun to have the discussion in our home.
When trying to plan the use of our time and which activities we involve ourselves in, it is not always about right versus wrong, but about better or best. And when the event is a choice (not required by one of our commitments) how do we decide?
One way we look at those choices related to “draining or invigorating.” Different personalities are invigorated by different kinds of involvements.
Some people are energized by time with people, others are drained.
Some people are energized by activity, others drained.
Some people are energized by solitude, other drained (or go crazy).
Some people are energized by physical activity, other well, as Winston Churchill is infamously quoted as say, “When I have the urge to exercise, I roll over until it passes.”
Knowing what energizes us is not the only means of determining what activities we should be involved in–values, missions statement, time for personal growth are better–but it does help.
What is hard is when those around us are energized by different things and can’t understand how we may see a certain activity as draining.
I’ve very glad my wife and I have a similar perspective.