Busyness Can Rob Our Hearts

The second danger is that busyness can rob our hearts.

“…John Calvin says the human heart is ‘a thick forest of thorns.’ Jesus names two in particular [the parable of the Sower, Mark 4:1-20]. The first he labels ‘the cares of the world’ (Mark 4:19). Do you know why retreats and mission trips and summer camps and Christian conferences are almost always good for your spiritual growth? Because you have to clear your schedule to do them. You get away. You set aside your normal insanity for a weekend and find the space to think, pray, and worship.

For most of us, it isn’t heresy or rank apostasy that will derail our profession of faith. It’s the worries of life. You’ve got car repairs, Then your water heater goes out. The kids need to see a doctor. You haven’t done your taxes yet. Your checkbook isn’t balanced. You’re behind on thank you notes. You promised your mother you’d come over and fix a faucet. You’re behind on wedding planning. Your boards are coming up. You have more applications to send out. Your dissertation is due. Your refrigerator is empty. Your lawn needs mowing. Your curtains don’t look right. Your washing machine keeps rattling. This is the life for most of us, and it’s choking out spiritual life.

“A second thorn is related to the first. Jesus says the work of the Word is swallowed up by the desire for other things. It’s not that possessions themselves are to blame. The problem is with everything we do to take care of them and everything we do to get more of them. Is it any wonder that the most stressed-out people on the planet live in the most affluent countries? Cottages, boats, campers, time-shares, investments, real estate, snowmobiles, new cars, new houses, new computers, new iStuff, new video games, new makeup, new DVDs, new downloads, new…– they all take time. We’ve heard countless sermons warning us about the dangers of money. But the real danger comes after you spend the money. Once you own it you need to keep it clean, keep it working, and keep up with the latest improvements. If the worries of life don’t swamp us, the upkeep will.

“Jesus knows what he’s talking about. As much as we must pray against the Devil and pray for the persecuted church, in Jesus’ thinking the greater threat to the gospel is sheer exhaustion. Busyness kills more Christians than bullets. How many sermons are stripped of their power by lavish dinner preparations and professional football? How many moments of pain are wasted because we never sat still enough to learn from them? How many times of private and family worship have been crowded out by soccer and school projects? We need to guard our hearts. The seed of God’s Word won’t grow to fruitfulness without pruning for rest, quiet, and calm.”

Crazy Busy

Kevin DeYoung in Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem (Crossway, 2013). This is from chapter 2 – “Here, There, and Gone: Three Dangers to Avoid,” pp.28-30. I finally got around to reading this book I picked up a few years ago (a little tongue-in-cheek comment there). It’s a good, practical, helpful read – punching me between the eyes and piercing all sides of my heart. I’m trying to slow down, slim down, and get down to the core things I need to do at this point in my life. Not easy, but it’s coming.

How about for you? Are you too busy? Aren’t we all? Take time to read and listen to the wise counsel of other busy people. And just take the time to read (especially God’s words). That in itself is a retreat and oasis in this crazy busy world in which we live.

Published in: on December 9, 2021 at 10:25 PM  Leave a Comment