This week, we continue our conversation about the book: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. The big idea from this series of talks is that Crazy Busy is a symptom of a sick soul Crazy Busy makes the soul sick. The busier we are, the less likely we are to give our souls the rest they need. Busy-ness keeps us from self reflection and self awareness. Similarly, if we are crazy busy, it can mean we have full schedule to 1) cover up emptiness 2) to fill a fill up their schedules to cover up our emptiness. Others fill up their schedules to try to fill the hole they feel inside. Yet others fill up their schedules because of pride.
This week we drew from chapter 4, The Terror of Total Obligation. In this chapter he reminds us, ““Jesus didn’t do it all. Jesus didn’t meet every need. He left people waiting in line to be healed. He left one town to preach to another. He hid away to pray. He got tired. He never interacted with the vast majority of people on the planet. He spent thirty years in training and only three years in ministry. He did not try to do it all. And yet, he did everything God asked him to do.”
While Jesus was, in fact, God, he was also human. He had human limits during his ministry. And while none of us are God, many of us forget that we have limitations. Unlike God: You have limited time. You have limited energy. You have limited power.
You have limited time. Some of us are so busy that we try and schedule ourselves from our first waking hour to our last. Like an engine that runs too long at high RPMs, however, we were not designed to go from one thing to the next thing to the next thing to the next thing. An engine that runs too fast, will blow up. You cannot do it all. You will miss out on MOST opportunities. And you will blow up if you try! All of us need something called “margin” in life. When you hear the word “margin,” you probably think of the space between words and the edge of a page. In fact, on any given page of text there’s a lot more space than that. Most of a page is blank space. You wouldn’t be able to read the words otherwise. So to, your life is meant to have space in it. You are not God!
You have limited energy. Some of us try to get around the limited time problem by simply working hard. Like Boxer the horse in animal farm, we are already tired and worn out, but year after year we tell ourselves, “I will work harder.” But it didn’t work out well for Boxer the Horse and it will not work out well for you if you continue to push yourself without rhythm or rest. There’s always more good to do. But as Kevin DeYoung says, “We can’t do something about everything.” We have limits. God, in fact, commands us to rest (see Exodus 20:8). And even though God has unlimited energy, he rested after the 6 days of creation. You are not God!
You have limited power. While our belief that we have unlimited time and energy are symptoms of a sick soul, another way our soul is sick has to do with our beliefs about power. Some of us believe that we can (or should) control other people’s lives, especially when we think we could live them better than they do. We tell them how they should live or are constantly being manipulate. But God alone is all-powerful. He alone guides the trajectory of our lives. And even he respects human freedom! (A lot has been written about the mysterious relationship between his power and our freedom, but we’re not going to touch that here!) In fact, Jesus says something very contrary to our “worldly” desire for power/control. In Matthew 18:26-24 he says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross (ours, not anyone elses) and follow him. Rather than seek control, he calls us to give up control. Not give up control to your busy schedule or your boss or even well meaning friends, but to give up control of your life to God.
It’s important to know who we are and who we are not. It’s important to know what we can do, and what we cannot do. But it’s even more important to know what God is calling us to do and what he is not calling us to do. Wh When Jewish leaders came to investigate John the Baptist because of the crowds he was drawing, he confesses freely in John 1:20, “I am not the messiah.” And neither are you!
What did you find helpful Sunday’s talk or this study?
Which is hardest for you to hear: you have limited time? You have limited energy? You have limited power? Why?
Do you ever feel like all opportunities are obligations? What are you currently feeling guilty about not doing (or not doing enough)? And: Whose standards do you think you are failing?
What is your sense of your own gifts and calling? When have you felt free to minister joyfully without comparing yourself to others?
Break up into smaller groups if necessary. In a one word, answer the question “How is your soul?” Then explain why you chose that word.