#FamilyFriday | Being Busy is a Form of Laziness

Have you ever had those times when God, over the course of time, continues to throw you little reminders of a big lesson over, and over, and over again? Instead of using a megaphone to scream to us what we need to learn, He instead graciously drops little hints all around us.

We have been teaching our daughter, Hadassah, how to sign "thank you." Every time we feed her, every time we give her something, we tell her, "Say thank you!" and sign it to her. Over and over again. Hundreds of times. And every once in a while, she will get a huge smile on her face and sign it back to us. And then last night, she actually said thank you! It's a lesson that we aren't yelling in her face. It's a lesson of gentle persistence to help her uncover her own trait of gratitude. 

Well, that's exactly the way God has been teaching me lately. I'm so glad for His steady grace, because I've seen this lesson being taught the other way, and I promise it's not in any way, shape, or form a fun lesson to learn. The lesson is about being busy, and here are a few of the ways that He's gently reminding me everywhere I turn and in almost every book I read. 

Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness — lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
— Timothy Ferriss
It’s easy to get caught in a flood of minutiae, and the key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
— Timothy Ferriss
If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”...They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
— Tim Kreider
A person being “too busy” is a myth. People make time for the things that are really important to them!
— Mandy Hale
For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
— Paul, in his letter to the church of the Thessalonians
Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
— Socrates

We live in a culture that prides itself on busyness. It operates on busyness. If we can just stay busy from 9am to 5pm, we're a good employee. It doesn't matter if we can do the job in half the time, we stretch the job to fill the time so that we stay busy. That mentality spreads into our personal life. Jonathan used to check his email at least every hour, even when he wasn't at the restaurant, because he was addicted to staying busy and felt guilty if he wasn't. After reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, now he only checks his email 3-4 times a week!

We don't have to be busy. It's a decision and a discipline, moment by moment, to prioritize the things that matter and put away the things that don't matter. My mom has a million and a half things to do, and obligations pull her in every direction. But one morning recently, she put all of those things aside and made the choice to go for a walk in the park with me and her granddaughter. Is it easy? No. It's not. Our obligations have a way of wrapping themselves around us like weeds, dragging us down and choking us, and making us think that they are us. But they're not. We can control them, like a gardener who diligently watches his garden and pulls out the weeds.

But it's not enough to just pull weeds. Timothy Ferriss says it doesn't matter how much you get rid of if you don't have specific plans for how to spend the time that you gain back. A gardener doesn't pull weeds, he must choose what to plant as well. So for this #FamilyFriday during #ShabbatTableTalk, choose what will bear fruit and start taking steps to accomplish it. (And we highly recommend reading Timothy's book!) Spend time with your family. Hang out with friends and build new relationships. Do what you're really passionate about doing. Do you want to travel? Make a budget, make a commitment, make it happen. It's your garden, grow what you want. Come winter, don't look back on a flowerbed choked out with weeds and withered plants. Choose to invest in your garden now and reap the produce.