Home > Books on Spiritual Formation, Ramblings, Spirituality > Busyness kills the heart

Busyness kills the heart


I have been slowly moving through The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and it has been a treat. Since I am teaching next week on simplicity, I was looking back on what he says about busyness in his chapter called, “The Rest of God: Stopping to Find What’s Missing.”

Buchanan says, “the busy life murders our hearts” or when we are so busy, “something dies in us.” Warning: his words may bother you! Italics are his own. Quotes are from pages 47-48 in his book.

“Too much work, the British used to say, makes Jack a dull boy. But it’s worse than that. It numbs Jack, parches Jack, hardens Jack. It kills his heart. When we get too busy, everything becomes either a trudge or a scramble, the doldrums or sheer mayhem. We get bored with the familiar, threatened by the unfamiliar. Our capacity for both steadfastness and adventure shrivel.

We just want to be left alone.

One measure for whether or not you’re rested enough–besides falling asleep in board meetings–is to ask yourself this: How much do I care about the things I care about? When we lose concern for people, . . .when we cease to laugh . . .when we hear news of trouble . . .and our first thought is that we hope it isn’t gong to involve us–when we stop caring about the things we care about–that’s a sign we’re too busy. we have let ourselves be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul. (ouch!)

Busyness kills the heart.

And then the moment of reckoning comes–when we must meet the situation with genuine, heartfelt compassion, wisdom, courage and nothing’s there, only grim resignation and a dull resentment that we got dragged into this.

Busyness makes us stop caring about the things we care about. And not only that. Busyness robs us of knowing God the way we might.

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