Does busy equal important?

Psalm 62:1 (NIV) Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

not busy

What I knew

I was always taught “idle hands are the devils playground.” It has stuck with me all throughout my life.  Always busying myself with task, some meaningful and some meaningless.  Then, I became a mother and applied that to my children. Signing them up for classes, keeping their weekly calendar full with outings, play dates and activities.  Teaching them that they should always have something to do and not allowing them to have time of rest or leisure.When I came back to Christ a few years ago, I was reintroduced to the story of Mary and Martha.

Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 

For the first time in my adult life, I wanted to be a “Mary.” Previously, I took pride in the fact that I was an exceptional multitasker and exemplary at time management.  I realized slowing down and taking time to just “be still” was an admirable trait.

Why is Busyness Applauded?

Many people are always on the go, until they reach exhaustion.  Busyness is considered great and stillness is considered lazy.  When we are still we are able to hear God, be closer with Him and use His guidance.

Mark 6:31-32 (NIV)
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

fellowship when not busy 

Are we valuing our relationships?

Being busy also keeps us from having meaningful relationships with others.  We are so wrapped up in the go-go;we aren’t fostering our communities and fellowship which is very important.

Hebrews 10:24–25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Are we being meaningful and present in our relationships that are important, like our spouse or children? Are we filling our time and presence with stuff and activities? Is it worth the stress and isolation to be task oriented?

couple time when not busy


My “Aha” Moment

The story of Mary and Martha was an epiphany for me. I discovered I wanted to fellowship, devote more time to God and my family and friends.  Have a more meaningful and present relationship with the people in my life.  It gave me the permission that I needed to slow down and reduce, so that I could be more like Mary. When I am planning for my children now, it’s memorable experiences versus expertise in activities.  I spend quality time with my husband daily and my stress level is low.  I am living the “Mary” lifestyle and enjoying the moments instead of calculating my time.

Does busy equal important? Which would you prefer the “Mary” or “Martha” lifestyle?

12 Comments on “Does busy equal important?”

  1. This is great! I’m a consultant and in the consultant world I’m considered lazy because I take my time on people and don’t just keep it buisiness. But I find it important to have an easy going schedule and to slow down.

  2. This is really good insight, when we are with people, working on our relationships, that needs our attention. Idle hands is not the same as idle minds, we can engage our minds full while not doing something with our hands.

  3. No, busyness doesn’t equal importance! I’ve been thinking about this topic actually alot recently! It’s funny I should come across your blog post! Love your points here!

  4. In today’s society (even in Christian circles) busy definitely equals important. I’ve always tried to stay away from busy but it’s so hard when you’re a mom…but I think it’s your perspective about the busy that is most important.

  5. These are great thoughts! I feel like the Lord often brings me to this story, and I learn something new from it each time. As women, there’s something about it that clicks almost instantly. I believe knowing Jesus and being still is what is most valued, but we also can’t be still all day. Essentially, being busy is a good thing. Both have a time and a place. It’s just that being busy with the wrong things – things that the Lord hasn’t called us to, or “worried about many things,” as Jesus describes is where confusion and us feeling overwhelmed sets in. For example, Mary was “busy” spending time with Jesus, just like Martha was “busy” preparing the home. I hope that makes sense, and I don’t really even know how to conclude this haha!! But just something I feel like the Lord is currently teaching me right now – as “busyness” is something tossed around so frequently nowadays. Thanks for sharing!! Really loved this post!! -xx Anna

  6. Busy really doesn’t equal important, but I do fall into the trap of thinking that in the back of my mind sometimes!

  7. Amen! Thank you for the reminder that it is perfectly OK to slow down. This is something I need to work on too!

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