This culture has begun a scary little habit. And it’s called the glorification of busy.
This morning, I had a mini-epiphany on a few things. As a Christian, I feel that a lot of people around me have so complicated and busied their lives—leaving next to no breathing room—in the name of “Christianity.” As a college student, I have noticed that more people around me have piled on responsibility after responsibility—clubs, volunteer work, extra classes, etc.—in the name of “accomplishment.”
Until now, I’ve had moments where I have doubted the relevance of these things in the lives of people that I’ve noticed, but for the most part I’ve just watched as others do more and more and more and I’ve tried to do more and more too only to become run-down and weary in the blink of an eye.
This morning I was pondering self-care. Up until this weekend, I hadn’t been making any time (as of late) for running in this beautiful weather, for yoga on the porch, for time spent getting outside or just away from the busy-ness to take time to recuperate. And I didn’t think that was a problem.
Why? Because of the glorification of busy. Because really “selfless” people run themselves on empty, right? Because “real Christians” volunteer wherever they’re asked and whenever they’re asked and “accomplished” college students are always studying or working on things for this or that club, project, event…right?
I have one question. When did it become okay—not okay, BETTER—to multitask and cram up our schedules with constant obligations to the point of exhaustion?
I think all this stuff we’re doing in the name of Christianity or the name of accomplishment or the name of perfection (ouch) has got to go. I know that sounds harsh, but bear with me. I’m not saying that we should spend all our time going to yoga class and taking epsom salt baths while ignoring needs in our community. What I am saying, is that we have to stop GLORIFYING the habit of doing one million things at once. Chances are, those that are doing this, probably aren’t doing any one of those things well. So, we must make friends with uni-tasking (or single-tasking…whatever you want to call it!). We have got to learn that self-care is just as important as volunteer work.
…because when I have not cared for myself—and am running on empty—I simply will not be able to give my best self to whatever or whoever it is that needs me.
That being said, I want to tell you something today. A little nugget that you can tuck into your pocket and think on when you’re feeling like you need to do it all.
There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says we are called to be constant multi-taskers. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says that if we’re doing life “right” we’re exhausted and running on empty all the time. There is nothing in the Bible that says we have to say “yes” to every good opportunity. There is nothing in the Bible that says that denying yourself means neglecting self-care.
There is something in the Bible that says that we are to treat our bodies as temples. There IS something in the Bible that says we must be FILLED to be emptied again. There is something in the Bible that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is something in the Bible that says God is our Shepherd who wants to restore our souls.
So friend, please know that it is okay to invest in one thing at a time. That because you aren’t on every committee or a part of every club or involved in every event that the PTA plans—that doesn’t mean you’re lesser, that means you know the importance of balance. Please know that the time you take to care for yourself is an investment you make in the quality of care you give others. You know the truth that many people struggle to grasp, which is that your body, mind, and soul must be filled in order for you to be able to give the best of yourself to those who need you.
So college student, please please please don’t worry that you’re not a part of all those clubs, events, ministries, etc. You are doing a good thing just getting up and going to class in the morning. You are making a conscious investment in your future, even when you don’t feel like it. And, you are making an investment that is not selfish—because by making an investment in your education, you will multiply your impact on the world and the value of what you can give to it.
Let’s stop the glorification of busy.