What do you think of when you consider laziness? My guess is you almost immediately think about some college kid laying on a couch playing XBox or PS3 and skipping classes. I would tend to agree with you (although when I did this it was a PS, I was not lazy, I was saving my energy!). Dan Allender in Leading With a Limp argues that busy is the new lazy. He says, “Being busy seems to be the polar opposite of laziness, but a busy person is not so much active as lost. (128)” Wow! That is a paradigm shifter.
In the Matrix of Brokenness Allender argues that weariness is something that all leaders will face and they will respond with either fatalism or hope. Fatalism usually displays itself in the context busyness. Hope comes when we find disillusionment in these lesser things that keep us busy. As we become disillusioned we turn toward that greater love, the Christ who called us initially and become bold in our declaration that he is best and lesser things must find their proper place.
As I read this I could not help but think of Hebrews 4:
“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
(Hebrews 4:1–12 ESV)
This is one of my favorite passages in the Scriptures because it subverts our conception of rest. We think of rest being a good nap. Rest is something that can only be found in the creation rhythm of our God as we embrace him in faith. When weariness hits we can become fatalistic and busy ourselves with lesser things. On the flip we can embrace this Creator God and his rhythm and find rest which provides hope.
I know this is a flaw in me. There have been times in the recent past (not so much since I joined my current ministry team) where I have been weary of a direction or a situation and I determine to busy myself with the building of my own kingdom. I get busy with minutiae and leave the greater good of vision casting, direction setting, and aligning because of the weariness that comes from dealing with those who struggle to “get it”.
I am learning that if I am overly “busy” then I am not pursuing the best. As I look over the last few weeks of my calendar I see that it has been very full. I know that I have experienced being tired. However, it has not been busyness. My tired feeling is an emptiness of serving and giving of the core of my being. It’s a good tired. It’s a hopeful tired.
I know that I am in process. I also am thankful for people like Doug who understands the rhythm of the Creator and calls me to account. God has also given me a subversive Bride, Beast, and Princess who draw me into his rest. How about you? Are you experiencing fatalistic busyness or are you disillusioned with the lesser things?