I’ve heard several times, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” While I don’t know how much I agree with the theology behind this statement, I do understand why it resonates with so many people. We’re told by culture today that being busy is a bad thing. If we’re busy, we’re not enjoying life, we’re not taking it all in, we’re not present. I know that this can be true, but I would like to present an argument against that sentiment completely. I would like to argue that busy is not a bad thing.
I’m almost always busy, and even when my body is not, my brain is. I am in a constant state of doing and have no idea what people mean when they say they are doing nothing or thinking about nothing. – Just to be clear, I’m not saying one is better than the other, just that people are different. – I don’t see myself as missing out on life because of it, quite the opposite. I think that I am getting the most out of life that I can. I think the trick to being busy without being wasteful is to always check your why.
God tells us to do his work. He wants us to be his hands and feet in the world. He wants us to love others and take care of them. He wants us to teach, lead, and help in any way we can. I have to believe that if we’re going to do that, we’re going to be busy. Even if each little thing we do is not some big, monumental task with amazing results, we’re still serving our purpose. We’re still busy with the work we were told to do.
For example, I spend a lot of time taking my kids places. If I were taking them places just to be there, I could understand, but I’m not. I have a purpose. I’m taking them places to learn a sport, learn to socialize with friends, learn to enjoy the church, or have a new experience in life. I’m trying to spend my years of influence with them in a productive way. I know that before too long, any idea I have will sound horrible to them, so I’m capitalizing now. While they still think I’m cool, I’m trying to love them with my time. I have a purpose behind my actions, and for the most part, the results are good. Rarely do I finish up time I spend being busy taking them places feeling like it was a waste.
I also spend a lot, and I mean a lot, of time taking care of my home. While this can feel a little bit like a waste with three little boys in the house, I argue that it’s not. They see all the time I spend cleaning up and doing things for them. They see service for others everyday. It doesn’t take long before they want to help and then learn to do the chore for themselves. I’m raising adults and I want them to know how to be independent. I want them to know how to take care of things they will need to do once they’re on their own. I also want them to see how important it is to help others whenever possible. Showing them how, and then helping them as they learn is the best way I have found to do this. I think it has a great purpose, and the results have been good. My boys can take care of several chores on their own now.
So many things in life fit into this category, and it’s hard to count in all as “being bad” when great results can be achieved. If your purpose is good and you are carrying out God’s work, I don’t see how busy is a problem at all. I would say that “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you blind to the good that you’re actually doing.”