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PASTOR'S PERSPECTIVE By Rev. Dr. Nathan Hart
How To Avoid “Crazy Busy” This Fall August 2, 2018
This summer, it has been fun to look at Instagram, where I see many images of Stanwich people enjoying beaches, amusement parks, family reunions, and other leisurely experiences. On the faces of children and adults alike, I see so many expressions of joy, peace, and relaxation. Ah, summer.
In just a few short weeks (and I’m sorry for even mentioning this), we will face the sudden return of hectic school-year schedules, athletic practices and games, board meetings, recitals, performances, fundraisers, and more obligations than our Google Calendars can possible fit. The transition from August to September is when the thunderstorm of fall busyness sweeps across the peaceful landscape of summer contentment.
Is this really the way it has to be?
Thinking of busyness in this way—as something that happens to us—assumes that we are powerless against it. I know that there are many obligations we simply must fulfill, especially in child-raising and with career demands. But many of us also opt-in to extra, exhausting activities that fill our calendars but empty our contentment.
Why do we do this? Why on earth do we knowingly choose to do things that make us “crazy busy”—or just crazy? I can think of many possible reasons: a need to impress others with our accomplishments or influence, a desire to outperform our peers in the competition of life, “FOMO” (fear of missing out), or anxiety about what might happen if we slow down long enough to feel the emotions that we bury under our busyness.
None of these reasons seems very healthy or godly. God doesn’t ask us to have frantic schedules for his sake. Sure, we are called to energetically pursue the advancement of his Kingdom by loving him and loving our neighbors (Luke 10:27), and he designed us to work (Eph. 2:10), but he also provides a pattern of rest from our labors. It’s called Sabbath: a 24-hour reprieve from work, once every week. Sabbath is a weekly departure from the normal busyness of our culture and an opportunity to worship the One who created us for life now and everlasting.
Sometimes we hear the word “Sabbath” and we think it means saying no to some rewarding Sunday activities or to the opportunity of working extra hours. But Sabbath is actually a yes. It’s a yes to freedom. Tim Keller puts it this way:
“God ties the Sabbath to freedom from slavery. . . Anyone who cannot rest from work is a slave—to a need for success, to a materialistic culture, to exploitative employers, to parental expectations, or to all of the above. These slave masters will abuse you if you are not disciplined in the practice of Sabbath rest. Sabbath is a declaration of freedom.” [Keller, Wisdom and Sabbath Rest]
This fall, as we face all of our obligations and opportunities, let us declare our freedom by choosing Sabbath over frantic busyness, the pattern of God over the pursuits of this world.
The September forecast calls for a thunderstorm of busyness, but Sabbath-keeping is our umbrella against that storm; it allows us to keep the contentment of summer all year long.
“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God… Let us therefore strive to enter that rest.” -Hebrews 4:10-11
See you Sunday.
DO YOU KNOW?
New Covenant Cafe
Student Mission Five Year Recap!
Hope of Life International is the organization that Stanwich Student Ministries has partnered with in Guatemala for the last five years. They have compiled some of those years into a 5-minute video to share with you (our church family) and thank you for supporting the students in making a difference in Guatemala.