There is this thing the Lord has been trying to teach me for as long as I can remember. My lack of learning this lesson usually leads me to saying my favorite phrase,
“I’m so overwhelmed…”
I am a busy person. Most mornings I wake up because there are so many things on my list and fall asleep exhausted and overwhelmed by how much is left unfinished. I figured I would get a break from all that this summer.
But I was wrong.
I’m thousands of miles away from pretty much all my responsibilities. Here I don’t have a car, a schedule of my own, or mountains of homework at night. You can imagine my shock as that phrase begin to slip into my heart and mind.
I'm overwhelmed with all the pain and poverty I see.
I'm overwhelmed because I don't have enough time to make a difference.
I'm overwhelmed when ministry doesn't move smoothly.
After I woke up this morning at 5 am to make breakfast for the girls, I came up to my room and sat like a zombie with a big cup of bitter instant coffee-- wanting only to go back to sleep.
But for some reason, I turned on a podcast from Brian Loritts. Ironically, it was about busyness. He said one thing that hit me hard.
“The bible isn't anti-busy, its anti-over work. Jesus was busy.”
Jesus was busy? Why is this just now hitting me? I've always though the opposite of overwork was sitting at home doing nothing [and that stresses me out more than a never ending list so it never really seemed like an option]. But maybe I’m just supposed to find rest amidst the busyness.
I spend most every day here in Honduras with my body guard and the POI administrator. We work long days going from the office to the children's programs. The days are even longer for Hector, the administrator because he goes straight from work to the university where he teaches and takes classes, then home to write and edit a local magazine.
The funny thing is, I spent weeks with him before I ever even knew this.
Hector and Zarco are two of the most relaxed people I have ever met and I think I’m finally figuring out why.
They will stop in the middle of the work day to pick up a prostitute and take her to an AIDS hospital, or walk through a dirty neighborhood to bring food to a needy family, they will sit and talk to the staff members who just need someone to listen, and then although their to-do list is full they stop and enjoy a long lunch maybe even a cup of coffee [that for some reason takes an hour to brew].
If it were me, I'd stick to a schedule instead of dragging everything out and working a 60 hour work week.
But here is what I am figuring out… their busy schedules look a lot more like Jesus’ than mine.
When I am running around with my head in a to-do list trying to finish early so that I can go volunteer somewhere, I zip right past the opportunities and the simple beauty all around me-- the things that they slow down enough to enjoy.
This is a hard lesson to learn because it slaps our American culture in the face.
I'm tired of thinking its bad to be busy, instead, I'm ready to start finding rest and beauty amidst the busyness.
I have been learning a lot about rest lately. Here are some of my favorite posts I’ve stumbled upon:
In Celebration of Slow
The Sacred Work of Sitting
Salvation Isn't For You
When My Soul is Truly at Rest
Escape From the Matrix: Can We Break Free From the Fear of Missing Out?