This week, Pastor John hands
‘Tis the Season to Be … Busy!
Let me ask you a question: Have you, in the last few days, weeks, or months, been tempted to answer the question of “How are you?” with the answer, “I’m doing good, but things are just really busy”? In today’s culture, busyness is almost seen as a sign of value. The notion is the busier you are the more important you must be. But let me just suggest to you that in our business, we can actually be robbing ourselves of some of the spiritual and relational fruit God wants us to receive.
When Jesus taught the parable of the sower, he made a very vital observation about how the things in our schedules can choke out our spiritual lives (Mark 4:1-20). In this parable, the sower threw seed, which represents the Word, on different types of soil, which represent the state of people’s hearts. One of the soils where the seed falls seems to be good and the seed even begins to grow until the thorns come. They make quick work of the new sprout and choke it out and it yields no fruit. In verses 18-19, Jesus says: “And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” The worries of this world, and the desire for more and more things can have a devastating effect on our spiritual lives. Most of us in the church won’t fall prey to rank apostasy or heresy, but we all could be derailed by the worries that life may bring, and the desire to find our happiness in material things.
Pastor Kevin Deyoung, author of Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem, in remarking on this passage says it well: “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 the pruning of rest, quiet, and calm.”
So as we enter into this glorious (but busy) Christmas season, let’s make sure we take time to let the seed of the Word sink a little deeper into our hearts. The adage, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” isn’t just a cute rejoinder, but it is what we need to remember and reflect upon. Not only do we need to remember that he is the reason for this season, but that he is the reason for every season. Let us continue to take time from our busyness to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Fighting busyness isn’t an easy task and it often takes the help and encouragement of other believers. That’s why this spring, all of our Growth Groups are going to be encouraged to read Kevin Deyoung’s aforementioned book. His work isn’t a “how to” on becoming less busy, but a needed explanation of the reorientation our hearts need to make as we fight against the dangers of life’s busyness. So be on the lookout mid-January in the Northpoint Foyer and pick up your copy of Crazy Busy.
By his grace,