“The result of busyness is that an individual is very seldom permitted to form a heart.”–Søren Kierkegaard
How did someone who lived from 1813 to 1855 describe our life today so well?
“Crazy busy” has become a definer of who we are. It is a value we give ourselves. We say the words and we feel important. We think this unsustainable pace is justified (we spend so much effort justifying it) because it is making you into a somebody.
A somebody who has a protected heart. An unknown heart. A tired heart.
There is a hole in your heart so you amp up your productivity so you can numb the ache from that hole and find the affirmation somehow.
What your heart and soul needs are the good things that are inefficient.
Inefficiency is the opposite of crazy busy.
Making room for love is inefficient.
Love is all things vulnerable. Crazy busy does a good job of keeping you out of vulnerability.
Here’s the lie that keeps us in that crazy busy. We are driven by these “good girl/good boy voices” that says we are doing these things because we love our people. When really our people want us to slow down and waste time with them. Slowness and inefficiency grows relationships.
To waste time with people is kindness. To do the extras for people is kindness. Both are so inefficient. Making room for kindness is also inefficient.
In your crazy busy you miss those moments of giving someone that extra long smile or sitting just a while longer to feel the story you just heard or seeing who needs the cup of coffee you can gift in the name of Jesus. Kindness definitely interrupts. Kindness is also unforgettable—for the receiver and for the giver. Kindness causes all hearts to grow.
Let’s just name it. Having friends is inefficient. Your gift of people are inefficient. Your friends need you like you need them. To invest in them so they can carry your pain is not done on an efficient schedule. Slowness and inefficiency grows relationships.
All Things Creative
To be creative, to be a creator awakens the soul. But it certainly is not efficient. To create this article, then edit, and edit again, and edit again is not efficient. It brings joy though to create in the likeness of my Creator.
There is a lot of baggage associated to the word “Sabbath.” Sabbath rest feels unattainable and is something we fail at. Sabbath rest is certainly inefficient. I very much believe in the rhythm of Sabbath rest to help me be more productive. This is what I’ve learned…the hard way.
Sabbath rest is an act of trust in God. Like sleep. I will stop those “good girl/good boy voices” for a set time and rest my soul. Maybe surrounded by friends. Very likely wasting time and doing inefficient things. I start my week with rest so I can be more productive the rest of the week.
Prayer and Bible
Prayer is inefficient. Any sort of devotional practice is inefficient.
Maybe you have one of those good books that gives you a 15-minute devotional thought daily. That is efficient. And remember I said they are good. Keep on.
What is inefficient is reading your Bible and journaling all of the questions that the Bible reading raised. Questions beg to be answered and you don’t have time to find the answers. So you skim your Bible reading or skip your Bible reading.
Prayer is hard because it feels like a waste of time. Is God answering your prayers? Is God listening? Are you praying the right way? Our wandering minds and muddled prayers of incomplete sentences sure do feel inefficient. But that inefficient time with the Larger Story God also gives me moments of awe and peace and rest.
Prayer really is inefficient because you don’t have any control over the outcome. It requires trust and time from you. It is so much easier to trust yourself to fix the situation and fix it now. Yet we are dependent on a Savior who isn’t us because we know our lives need more than what we alone can offer. We know we need the Larger Story God to do something which we are limited to do. So we pray. Even if it is inefficient.
All the Little Virtues
The ordinariness of Salesian Spirituality and those little virtues are inefficient. This is something we are trying to practice regularly as a church. Because when we practice the little virtues we are ready for those big virtues. Our crazy busy decisions are made because we need those big virtues for our big plans. This comes with the inefficiency of the little virtues.
So you can form a heart. To not become one of those heartless leaders you complain about.
The crazy blessing in finding space for these inefficiencies is how beautiful you become. This is a value that defines you a whole lot better than crazy busy.