The Business Badge of Honor

800px-Stack_of_firewoodOct. 24, 2013

John 6:14-15

When the people realized what a great miracle had happened, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him their king, so he went higher into the mountains alone.

I think there is a huge misconception within our society today: that the busiest person always wins. I’m not sure what we think he/she wins. It is almost a badge of honor to be so busy.

Think about it. When someone asks you, “How are you doing?” what is a common response? “Busy.” Someone asks, “Can you help with ____.” Our response, “Sorry, I’m too busy.”

I fall into this trap. I am amazed at how full my life is these days even though I do not have a regular paying job! This is not what I anticipated. Rick and I have decided that we have to ensure we make time to be. One beautiful September day, we took out the boat and buzzed around Lake Redstone for a couple hours. Being a weekday morning, there were few boats on the lake. We talked, soaked in the sun, could just be.

When was the last time you could just be? We need time to be … to be with ourselves … to be with God … to stop chasing the business badge of honor.

Today, Rick and I took a load of wood to his sister’s house. Rick threw it into the basement while I stacked it. It’s been years since I’ve stacked firewood. Growing up, we cut wood many Saturdays. It was not my favorite job. I did not think of cutting wood as quality family time but it was time together. Today, who has time to cut wood? Throw it down or stack it? It is much easier to pay for fuel online.

I do not want to start a discussion about whether to burn wood or not. I simply use burning wood as an example of how society has changed. With all of today’s gadgets and technology, our lives have not slowed down. No, they have only sped up.

Some days are truly busy. When I book too many of these in a row, my mental ability slows down. It diminishes. I get less sleep, which means my body does not get time to recoup. I exercise less. I do silly things that waste time because my mind cannot take in one more thing.

Somehow, Jesus kept himself refreshed, renewed and regenerated. I’m sure he neared mental exhaustion at times. In John 6, he has just finished feeding 5,000 people. How could he not be exhausted? My guess is he went up to the mountains not so much to avoid the people but because he understood the need to refresh himself by connecting his mental needs with spiritual renewal. Oh, if only I could be so disciplined.

Almighty God: help me see how business is not the same as holiness. Yes, you desire for me to work for your kingdom … but to make sure this work is fruitful and not just business. Help release me from pursuing the badge of business honor and rather to seek the things you most desire for me to do. When I get mentally exhausted, help me see the great need for me to just be with you. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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