I’ve been thinking lately about what feels like a ‘new’ normal, even if it’s not all that ‘new.’ It is this concept that everyone is ‘so busy.’ A couple of ways I hear this mantra is, “You’re so busy, I hate to ask….” and “I know we’re all busy….” I wonder if we’ve always been ‘so’ busy and we are now voicing it out loud, or is this a relatively new thing in the last 10 or 15 years?

I wonder what value to our lives, our communities, our relationships, it is to be ‘so’ busy. Are we really vastly improving ourselves and our relationships, or job opportunities to be so busy? We might be. If that is the case I wonder if there is a cost, e.g. something negative, or some impairment in other parts of our lives? How does it impact our interactions with each other, being at a resting state by ourselves or with others, and getting our souls fed?

Mostly, I wonder if we’re happy being ‘so’ busy? Are we consciously choosing to be so busy? I wonder what it would look and sound like if we stopped using the phrase ‘so busy’ and began saying, “No, I’m not available. No, I can’t do that for you. Not, this week, but maybe next…..No, I have other priorities. Did you ask….”, and so on.

I’m hoping we’re only as busy as folks were 50 or 100 years ago, just doing different things than they did. I’m hoping that if, in fact we’re ‘so’ busy that it is a choice and, if not a conscious choice, we have the wherewithal to say, “No, thank you. I’m staying home tonight; I’m hanging out with …. No, thank you. I’m going to go help….

We can choose to stop saying I’m ‘so’ busy and if in fact we are ‘too’ busy and don’t like it, we can choose to stop. The world will not ‘go to hell in a handbasket’ (a phrase I heard from adults when I was little). Maybe some things won’t get done or done as grandly. Maybe some projects will wait for another day, or be done by someone else.

Jesus’ life was pretty full. There is no doubt he was a busy person. I don’t imagine he ever said, “I’m so busy.” We do know that he rested, a lot. There a story in Mark’s Gospel about that very thing. It’s not the only one, but it is insightful. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. (Jesus) said to the apostles, Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” Mark 6:31 (CEB)

Blessings to you. Rev. Pam.