Hold on to the joy-thread in a very busy life
“I’m busy, busy, dreadfully busy! You’ve no idea what I have to do…” Like that Veggie Tales tune that keeps playing in my head, the “I’m-too-busy-to...” theme runs like a sticky thread through my days. Three such threads have already woven themselves into this morning’s fabric.
A friend lamented in a note that too many little but important things in life are bypassing her. That she’s too involved with the “urgent.” I identified.
Less than an hour later, the phone rang. Wistfulness lacing her voice, Friend #2 told me she rarely connects in a meaningful way with her boyfriend anymore. “We’re both too busy,” she said. I understood.
“I hope you’re finding time to enjoy life,” Friend #3 emailed. I sighed. After this third installment of busy-talk, I started feeling guilty about my own busy schedule. Wondering if perhaps I should pencil in “enjoy life” to my calendar, say between 4 and 5 on Fridays. Except that I already enjoy life, even when busy.
Life flows in seasons. Some, like the seasons of nature, are naturally busier than others. If that’s your time of life, as it is my own, perhaps it’s time to stop beating ourselves up about “busy.” The secret, it seems to me, lies in realizing that for followers of Jesus Christ, joy is a bi-product of close relationship with him – no matter how busy we are. Rather than just smelling the roses, God intended us to fill our lives with meaningful activity, fruitful productivity and healthy relationships.
Our daughter’s like that. So is her friend Thea. Thea helps me clip Grace Cat’s claws. The job requires two people, but whenever the Preacher and I attempt it alone, hisses happen before a single paw gets done – and not cat-hisses. Clipping all four paws takes a week.
“Call Thea, Mom,” she said. “She has vet tech training.” But Thea has several young children, with another on the way. She also homeschools. I didn’t want to pile on more responsibilities. But after several more colossal clipping failures, I made the call. She came the next evening, clippers in hand, a few children in tow.
“I didn’t want to ask you,” I confessed. “I know how busy you are.”
“I’m learning that when something needs doing, the best time for me to do it is NOW,” she said. “Otherwise it never gets done.”
The cat must have sensed Thea’s expertise, because he submitted to the clippers with only minimal protest. She’s visited regularly ever since. We talk about faith and life, kids, cats and other animals. And while we work, we enjoy ourselves.
Sometimes we do need to stop twirling to regain our balance and re-establish our priorities. But in our busiest seasons, the ones we can’t change, let’s remember this: keeping a close relationship with Jesus weaves the deepest thread of all through life, a vibrant thread of liberating joy – even when the calendar is full.