The Plague of Busyness

Keith Knight

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Busyness, it seems, has become a common problem for many in our culture.  Despite technological advances that have increased productivity and improved communication, our to-do lists are as long as ever.  Many people still feel ruled by "the tyranny of the urgent."

Almost every morning, my wife and I ask each other the same question, "So what does your day look like?"  It's good for us becasue we know how to pray for each other and it also gives us insight on how busy our day looks.  My days are usually packed to the point where the list is not achievable.  Prepare for Marriage Conference, attend several meetings, make some phone calls, review church financial reports, check on-line banking, check and respond to numerous emails, encourage a family member or friend on the social network, service the car, do yard work, pay the bills, kids activities, and on, and on, and on....and hopefully there a few interruptions, or distractions with "the tyranny of the urgent."

Been there?  Have you ever felt so overwhelmed and exhausted just thinking about your to-do list before you even start your day?  I have, but I'm thankful that God's Word gives me insight in prioritizing my day.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

We know the words well and find some comfort, but do we really experience this?  An easy yoke?  A light burden?  Yokes and burdens, absolutely.  But, easy and light?  And rest for the soul?  Not usually.  Most of us stress with far heavier yokes than Jesus intended for us.  So how do we shed our heavy loads?  Read and look back at the verses.  Two words, yoke and rest, are repeated twice.  Rest is a word that suggests the stopping of motion and the rest that Jesus promises is rest for the soul, not body rest.  So, the "image of rest" that comes to our mind, like lounging in the sun on the beach in Maui, is probably not accurate.  The rest, the peace, is on the inside.  His concern is for our hearts.  So, conquering the list at the risk of spending time time with the Lord is not a good plan.

Christ was most likely the busiest person who ever lived.  Crowds pestered Him.  Strangers grabbed His clothing.  People with needs disturbed His sleep and interrupted His teaching.  In one day alone, Jesus encouraged the disciples, healed the sick, taught the multitude, fed the five thousand, and helped a friend through a storm!  All of this, yet He still found time to be alone with His Father (John 6:1-14).

Spend time with Jesus and you will find rest for your soul.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Gregory Hooper wrote:
AWESOME Pastor Keith! Really good stuff! Rest for my soul! I needed that!"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Fri, June 3, 2011 @ 7:55 AM

2. Lena Davis wrote:
Wow, I wish I had read this on FRIDAY when it was posted. But nonetheless, it is dully noted and a much needed reminder for me to be still admist my storms of busyness to just be with HIM!

Tue, June 7, 2011 @ 8:02 PM

3. Janelle Honn wrote:
This is the story of my life. Great lesson! I will devote my time to Jesus, and find rest for my soul. Thank you, so much!

Sat, June 11, 2011 @ 12:53 AM

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