God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscious, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
~C.S. Lewis The Problem of Pain
I have a disorder. It’s not an official one, but it’s there. I’m the hyper kid, so being still is not my strong point. Heck, it’s not even in my list of things I might eventually be good at. I’m sure with those statements, you can guess what my disorder is. I’m busy. Wait-what? That’s not a disorder! We’re all busy! That may be true, but I add extra little things into my regular busy-mom-of-three schedule that no one else can do but medon’t even have to be there!
Being busy with unimportant tasks is the “non-drowsy version” of an addiction. The addiction that sneaks up on you because you don’t even believe it’s real. It’s the same as my sugar addiction: easily dismissed as a sweet-tooth, but once you decide to stop eating it, BAM withdrawal headaches and irritability. Busy-ness has similar problems.
So, let’s dig in to my problem. Why do I have it? Same as any other self-soothing addiction: it keeps me away from my thoughts. When I am focused on tasks, I can avoid what I should be focusing on because it’s just too hard.
Work tasks that are piling up, a laundry pile that’s as tall as me, a dirty kitchen,
Embarrassment from being forgetful and absent-minded
Not being the daughter/sister/mother/friend I should be
My not-so-perfect marriage
Less-than-stellar parenting skills
Feelings of shame and guilt because of the first two
Shame because I’m not the person I wanted to be ‘when I grow up’
Grief that I’ve been avoiding but is starting to spill out every time I’m alone
It’s a long list.
What I wasn’t realizing is that filling my days/evenings/nights with important trivial tasks, I was also leaving no space for my Heavenly Father. You know that guy that has all the answers? Yeah Him. I was wandering around in all of my distraction, angry at God because He wasn’t showing up! Seriously! I was diving deeper and deeper into my problem of being the only person responsible for all of the needs around me, angry at God because I was falling apart, and He wasn’t even trying to pick up the pieces! Where was He?
Slow down, take time
Breathe in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come
I have been working at a job that I wasn’t designed for (it involves sitting) for the last week or so, and it has forced me to be quiet and move at a slower pace than I’m used to. It has been the best thing for my impatience – usually for me to slow down enough to not push harder, it takes a serious illness. I’ve been listening to worship music, taking in important lessons from a recent conference, and most importantly, praying and waiting on God. I am working on quieting my heart.
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death
God has been yelling at me for so long, but I have been ignoring Him. He’s been there all along, waiting for me to turn my head and see the path, His path! Although every bit of the busy-ness that I struggle with is done in the name of helping, or better yet, part of my job as a mother/wife/fill-in-the-blank, I have been travelling that path that leads to death. As well-meaning as I will tell you it is, it steals my time from working on the hard stuff, like those things on my list up there.
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
I’m still busy, but I’m working on it. At the conference I was at, I literally nailed my busy addiction to the cross. I gave it to God. I still find myself trying to hold on to it. I have grown quite comfortable in my disorder – it makes for some great excuses when I don’t want to do something. I don’t know how recovery from this problem will look. I’m guessing now that God is taking me down the road of approaching the hard work that I’m not going to like the journey, but I know that I will love what comes from the waiting.