Saturday, August 11, 2012

Complaining and Bragging At the Same Time

I read this article in the middle of the night last night.  Even in the midst of my bleary-eyed fog, it made perfect sense.  If you are are reading this, it will probably make sense to you, too.

"If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint."

This phenomena has annoyed me for a long time.  How should one respond to the complaint of busyness, especially when stated negatively and not cheerfully?  So many times, it's as if people want sympathy for the consequences of their own choices:

"It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence."

How does one respond to "well, I've overscheduled myself and I don't like it and now I am going to complain to you and please make me feel better?"  I don't know.  Don't get me wrong- this is not me simply pointing out the flaws of others, this is me admitting my own.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been doing.  My mom talks about me sitting at the kitchen table and doing my "projects" (leftover Sunday school materials from my Grandma) at two years old.  It has been a lifelong habit, maybe even an obsession.  But it flies in the face of Scripture.  A verse that I have been meditating on a lot lately is:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." - Matthew 11:28-29

I am not sure what Jesus' yoke looks like, but I know I want it.  And the days of working 16 hours straight and not eating a real meal or going to the gym or leaving my house or even knowing what time it is, of just 5 minutes of undivided attention for my husband when he gets home, of stress and frustration and being burned out; well, I just don't think that's God's way.

 "The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it."

This quote reminds me: It is a CHOICE.  As Josh and I are in a time of transition and making lot's of changes anyway, why not throw one more in the mix?  I am 26 right now, and I have wasted too many years being "busy."  I would rather be purposeful, obedient, and peaceful.  That's easy to say, but challenging to do, especially in a culture that often equates rest with laziness and busyness with success.  But I don't want to follow the world, I want to follow Jesus.  I am jumping off the train of insanity, and I am hoping to take others with me.  Wanna come?


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