Spiritual formation – to busy to be formed

Busy, busy, busy, it seems to be the stuff of life. Busy at work, busy at home, life can seem unavoidably busy. How’s yours?

When it comes to spirituality it is massive, a killer. To quote Eugene Peterson, “Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It is essentially laziness. It is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions. It is taking charge.” (Subversive Spirituality).

That is some statement! How easy it is to think, “Lord, I’m doing this for you and that for you, and this needs to be done, and that, and if I don’t do it who will. Lord, it can’t be helped, I’ll catch up when I can.”

Meanwhile we’re drying up, burning out, and possibly even dropping out. Yes, Peterson is right, business is the enemy of spirituality, it impedes our life with God. It causes us to live and serve on our own depleted resources.

Martha thought Mary was lazy when she took time out to be with Jesus. Her mind was on all that needed to be done. But Mary understood she needed to stop and take time out from the demands of life and be with Jesus, to listen to his voice, to learn of him. She knew that would be energising and enabling.

How many of us find it easy to do the easy thing instead of the hard – is that you? Are you more Martha than Mary?

Jesus only did what the Father required of him. How many of us are “filling time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s,” as Peterson puts it? Are you more in charge of your life than God is?

If we are too busy for God, we will be too busy to be truly formed and we’ll never be and do all that God intends for us.

To quote Peterson again, “Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It is essentially laziness. It is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions. It is taking charge.”

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