My Father’s Busyness?

Here’s an excerpt from this coming Sunday’s sermon. Join us at 8:45 or 10:15 at The Donelson Fellowship, or watch online at

I once saw a small plaque posted to the dashboard of a friend’s car: Beware the barrenness of busyness. That’s a good warning for life. Business and busyness are separated by a single letter, but there’s an immense chasm between the i and the y.

Jesus had to be about His Father’s business, but He said nothing of being about His Father’s busyness. Despite having only 33 years to live on earth—only 3 of which were in fulltime ministry—our Lord never displayed a windmill-in-a-storm visage. He agenda never deteriorated into spinning, frenetic activity. He never appeared hurried or harried.

Busyness is like the con man your Aunt Josephine married. He can’t be avoided, but should be viewed warily. Busyness sneaks up on you, makes you think you’re more important than you are, and sells you a set of activities that are usually over-valued.

Personally, I like to stay busy. Most of us do; but there are two caveats. First, we have to be busy doing the right things. As the American writer Mary O’Connor put it, “It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.”

Second, we have to guard against staying too busy. Some people burn their candles at both ends; others burn their ends at both candles. In either case, the light goes out. Constant agitation frays at our nerves, agitates our minds, drains us spiritually, plunders us emotionally, and debilitates us physically.

In her devotional classic, Springs in the Valley, Mrs. Charles M. Cowman wrote, “Many are slowly succumbing to the strain of life because they have forgotten how to rest…. Rest is not a sedative for the sick, but a tonic for the strong…. It saves us from becoming slaves even of good works.”