by Aaron


Have you ever found yourself so overwhelmed with meaningless things that you couldn’t finish all the things you had to do in a given day? Have you ever found your mind so cluttered with things to do that you essentially “overload” and don’t do anything at all? Have you ever found yourself spending massive amounts of time reading internet blogs and not actually doing your work while at WORK?


It is interesting that we call all these things being “busy.” I personally feel like I am “busy” all the time but can usually find a few moments to do something I want to do, such as writing a new blog, researching said blog, and then publishing said blog to the world wide web.


The term busy means actively engaged or occupied. I suppose it is like the restroom on the airplane that you have to lock the door to get the stupid useless light to actually turn on so you don’t sit somewhere you shouldn’t or drink the wrong water. Ya, occupied, that’s a great word for busy…because when our mind becomes UNoccupied the stench of the opening door overwhelms everyone within smelling distance.

We use the word busy for everything today.

  • If a song has too many parts and doesn’t make sense we say it is too “busy.”
  • If a painting becomes too cluttered because the artist didn’t know when to stop we say it is too “busy.”
  • In 1526 the term came to be used of a person who is always prying into others affairs, we say they are a “busy” body.
  • If a street has too many cars on it, we call it “busy.”
  • In 1893 we started to use it of telephone lines when we couldn’t get through to the person we were calling and said “their line is busy.”
  • In the seventeenth century being busy became a euphemism for sexual activity. We still use it today in all of the best gangster rap, “getting busy.”
  • It’s even a city, Busy, Kentucky (zip code 41723).


I am surprised we haven’t used it in terms of an infection yet. Busy-ness is like a disease that haunts us and won’ let go. Even when we are not busy we feel the need to act like we are busy so no one will think we are lazy. How did we come to this? How did something that irritates almost everyone universally become for most people our second identity?

I’ll tell you how, because I know you want the answer. It has much to do with the preoccupation with self and our forgetfulness of God. The human animal, when not present with God becomes present only to itself. This idea is replete throughout scripture that if we want to truly learn to rest we must find a way to be present with God.

Moses, in the book of Exodus, is on his way up a mountain where God will visit with him.

In Exodus 24:12 we read The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."

The Hebrew reading of this literally says: The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain andBE THERE.” Rabbi’s teach that God told Moses this because God knew that as soon as Moses reached the top of the mountain his mind would start to contemplate all the ways to get BACK DOWN the mountain and he would not truly BE THERE with God. God wanted Moses present with Him, as God wants us present with Him when we spend time with Him.

In scripture we see God constantly telling us to calm down and mellow out:

  • Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."Nehemiah 8:10-11 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."
  • Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
  • Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God;
  • Zechariah 2:13 Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."

Even Jesus’ disciples got caught up in the busy-ness of themselves and lost sight of God. In the middle of a storm, the disciples are freaking out and we are told in Mark 4:39 Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Imagine that, forces of nature calm down and can be quiet in the presence of God, but humans can’t.

Busy-ness of our minds always threatens to undo the peace of God. I know all too well the issues with letting my mind and body become too busy. Just last night I had one of those freak out moments where the peace of God was the furthest thing from me. I became so caught up in the busy-ness of me that I lost sight of Him. This morning I sat down and prayed, found a place of calm, and began the deep hard road of learning to be still in the almighty presence of God.

Even when we finally find that place of being in the presence of God it is often hard to simply BE THERE…but we are commanded to be there, to be present with Him.

My hope for you this week is that you may also find that place where your busy-ness falls away in the presence of God, that you will understand the deep reality of simply BEING THERE with God in a moment, and allowing the calm that comes from knowing Jesus re-center the focus of your life.

Now, get back to work.