Today’s devotional: keeping busy with being slothful

Everybody’s busy these days. You’re busy; I’m busy; I don’t know if I’ve encountered anybody in my adult life who wasn’t busy balancing work, school, childcare, travel, and all the other usual suspects.

Busy-ness is a part of our lives, and it’s not very practical or helpful to insist that we simply stop being busy. But it is nevertheless critically important that we not let the hectic pace of our lives pull us away from God. That’s the topic of this devotional from Words of Hope:

Many of us are terribly busy. Our hectic pace of life spins like a merry-go-round, threatening to throw us off completely. So we go to the opposite extreme. We “veg” out, passively watching program after program on TV. Yet somehow this inactivity fails to give us the rest we seek.

Rest is not simply inactivity. It’s also a state of being. Both work and sleep are blessings, but they cannot cure the restlessness of our hearts. Augustine put it well when he said: “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” King David celebrated this deep sense of rest in Psalm 16. The refuge he found in God centered his whole being.

Read the rest of the devotional at Words of Hope.

There are two messages in this devotional that I very much needed to hear today. One is that laziness isn’t just a matter of sitting around doing nothing; in our world of constant distraction, you can keep terrifically “busy” but still manage to neglect the things you ought to be doing.

Secondly, there’s more to spiritual and emotional “R&R” than simply sleeping in on the odd Saturday morning. (My sleeping-in, video-game playing college self could have benefited from this message a decade ago.) Just as you can be lazy while keeping “busy,” you can also sit around doing nothing—our culture’s idea of “rest”—and not find spiritual refreshment.

The solution, of course, is to turn to God himself, who promises “rest for your souls” if we but turn to him. How busy are you today? Where do you find your rest—and is it the pure, renewing rest that God provides?

One Response to “Today’s devotional: keeping busy with being slothful”

  • Amanda Wright says:

    This has made me stop and think about my relationship with God. My conversations with him are so often ‘duty calls’in which I’m thinking to myself ‘how quick can I make this without offending him’. My daughter is just coming up to her teenage years and this is how she’s getting with me – talking to me is a means to a goal for her, rather than the primary goal in itself. Conversely, I long to spend time in my aged Mum’s presence, to share experiences and talk about deeper matters than the weather and the price of tomatoes. “In all your ways acknowledge him”. I always think of this as God-is-on-my-shoulder… seeing what I see, hearing what I hear, watching what I do, and we’re talking to each other all the time… resting in each other: remaining in each other.