Excessive busyness, particularly in the service of a good cause, is an effective way of hiding from God and from our own deepest self. -Margaret Guenther
Wow. That one cuts deep, yeah?
I think there is a lot of wisdom in this quote. I have found it to be very true in my own life. There was a time where I was so busy busy busy running around, doing ministry in the providence dorm and in my church plant and within my family and within my youth group that I never allowed time for self-reflection or for personal development. I once believed that this was the way to go; that we are called to lives of giving giving giving, working hard and looking forward to the next life for rest.
But I can’t do that anymore. And I don’t want to. It took so long to make the mental shift from considering time spent alone as being selfish to seeing time spent alone being vital to selflessness. That ministry is not something to give away, but to be and live and find joy and rest in. That my soul is just as valuable as the next, that I am not called to sacrificing myself and my health to the point where I am destroyed, that listening to God’s voice requires the life quietness which only true rest can bring.
But rest is difficult. Not only because my mind is haunted by the million of things that it seems I should be doing, but because it is difficult to sit. To be myself. To reflect on who I am and who God in in ways which are healthy and not self-condemning. The enjoyment you get from conversing with yourself is completely dependent on how much you like yourself as a person and as a spiritual being. Sitting by yourself when you feel comfortable in your own skin is torturous. And important. And may be the only place where you can experience true grace.