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Addicted to Busy, Recovery for the Rushed Soul

Posted by Brady Boyd

My new book, Addicted to Busy, releases this Fall.  I wrote the book because, more than anyone else, I need to embrace rhythms and rest. I would love to know if this book is needed in your life right now.

Introduction

In one sense, I’m the worst person to be writing this book, seeing as I’m a complete hypocrite when it comes to actually living out the restful rhythms I so passionately espouse. But in another sense, I’m the perfect choice, because I recognize that digging in my heels and demanding self-discipline will never correct my errant ways. They can’t and won’t correct your errant ways either, which is how I can so boldly declare that this book will not change your life. A book never changes our lives.

Here’s what will change our rhythms, our pace, our lives: revelation from the Spirit of God, or, in other words, the ability to detectspiritually what we’ve only had sensory knowledge of before. Yes, life is made up of tasks on the to-do list, our vehicles whizzing down the road, kids rattling off their incessant needs and wants, the hurried embrace of a spouse who is rushing off to drive carpool, the scent of one more bag of fast food—really, now, who has time to cook anymore?

But it also involves an undercurrent, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, a spiritual underpinning holding together our days. It’s the God story that contextualizes the Us story. It’s a spiritual understanding that makes our lives make sense. The highest goal I can set for this book is that it will somehow serve as a conduit for the revelation we so sorely need. Mere words on a page can’t talk us out of our beloved freneticism, but the Holy Spirit can. And will, if we will let him.

I want this revelation, and yet I don’t. Because on the heels of real revelation, real-deal growth is required. “Revelation is not for the faint of heart,” writes Anne Lamott. But how beautiful it is when it finally appears. Without it, she continues, “life can seem like an endless desert of danger with scratchy sand in your shoes, and yet if we remember or are reminded to pay attention, we find so many sources of hidden water, so many bits and chips and washes of color, in a weed or the gravel or a sunrise. There are so many ways to sweep the sand off our feet. So we pray, ‘Oh, my God. Thanks.’”

That sense of gratitude is what I desperately want to feel. I want to receive revelation, I want to live from revelation, and I want to thank God for saving my sanity, by gently prodding me to slow my pace. And yet here’s a question I think about: would I even know how to live a slowed-down life? Would I know what to do with rest? When I was first handed my newborn son, while I was instantly in love with him, there was this secret question rushing through my brain: “What does it do?” 

Would I look at a well-rested life the same way?

How do I hold it?

What is it good for?

What on earth does it do?

I wonder if I’d be the guy who would unravel with the quiet of it all.

Still, I’m willing to try. I’m willing to put on a rhythmic life. When we know better, we do better, Maya Angelou says, in her unfailingly poetic way. I’ve known better for a long, long time. I’m ready for the doing-better part to begin.

In Jewish tradition, the command to “keep the Sabbath holy” is followed religiously, beginning at sundown Friday and lasting a full twenty-four hours, until sundown Saturday. Friday evening, as a way to welcome the prescribed unplug, the family recites a blessing—Kiddush, it’s called, literally meaning “holy.” There’s a Kiddush cup that you use, which looks like an ornate goblet that’s been glued to a small saucer—a saucer that’s really important, not only in function, but also in form. When the blessing is recited, typically by the father of the family, wine is poured into the goblet until it overflows, spilling out. You can get the cup and saucer for fifteen bucks on Amazon, but you can get what it represents only by living a rhythmic life. The pouring out, the overflow, the blessing—the symbol here as Sabbath begins is that God’s abundance cannot be contained.

This is what I’m after: feeling not empty, but full. Living not full-throttled, but at rest. Letting whatever abundance God has in store for me come in, sit down, be at home.

 

Take it easy.

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels

drive you crazy.

Lighten up while you still can. 

The Eagles 

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4 Responses to “Addicted to Busy, Recovery for the Rushed Soul”

  1. Great post, & asking questions that I know so many others including myself are asking. To be able to rest is a key to a balanced life but the world tells us to continue to go beyond what everyone else is doing.

    This often times takes our focus off of our path and before we know it we are running other people’s races. When all God calls us to do is to focus and walk to Him. When we walk to Him it is much easier to decide between what are good things and what are God things.

    The problem I still struggle with is what are the God things I am seeing that “I” need to be involved with. Sometimes I get to busy trying to do things that other people have been gifted and talented to do, all that is needed is my gift of empowering and getting out of the way to set things in motion.

    I can’t wait to read the book. Any chance for a preview copy? I am happy to write reviews! :)

  2. I would love a pre-release review. Send me your mailing address and I will make it happen. Thanks

  3. This is a VERY needed book, Pastor Brady. People all over are being bombarded with the need to be preoccupied by cell phones, ipads, etc. making life even faster and expected disruption. We get used to the interrupted rhythm of life and settle into that chaotic pattern. I mean, I personally can’t sit down and just watch TV without having my phone or ipad to scan emails much less just sit!. Sad.
    I’d like to add the importance of FULLY unplugging. Not just turning off the switch leaving it plugged in…like an electronic appliance. We stay ‘plugged” in for easy access later, and call it rest. But really, we need to just LAY IT DOWN and walk away fully. We cannot fully discover how to space out priorities until we fully remove things to make room for the ones we consider most important. its amazing how things can actually survive without our input – if we prepare them properly to be passed on (if responsible in that role). Probably likens itself somehow to the parable of pruning the vine. We all need pruning in our lives. Overgrowth happens – even with healthy plants! We need to trim back so that healthy growth doesn’t get chaotic and can continue to be fruitful and healthy. Without fully removing things from our lives, its really just ‘reserved” space for a later time of busyness. And I would whole-heartedly agree with Angie’s post above. Especially in church life, where the 10% carry the 90%. Its true in so many churches. We don’t need to be heroes, we need to be a family and share the love…and responsibility for discipleship. Sometimes, we find fulfillment in being busy because it makes us feel needed and important. But that’s a deception and burn out is a’comin’ in ministry when we think this way. True discipleship frees us from that load that can only be maintained by our presence and involvement. Training up others to take your place is not only fulfilling the great commission…its also God’s way of self-preservation! Blessings on this endeavor!

  4. This is a VERY needed book, Pastor Brady. People all over are being bombarded with the need to be preoccupied by cell phones, ipads, etc. making life even faster and expected disruption. We get used to the interrupted rhythm of life and settle into that chaotic pattern. I mean, I personally can’t sit down and just watch TV without having my phone or ipad to scan emails much less just sit!. Sad.
    I’d like to add the importance of FULLY unplugging. Not just turning off the switch leaving it plugged in…like an electronic appliance. We stay ‘plugged” in for easy access later, and call it rest. But really, we need to just LAY IT DOWN and walk away fully. We cannot fully discover how to space out priorities until we fully remove things to make room for the ones we consider most important. its amazing how things can actually survive without our input – if we prepare them properly to be passed on (if responsible in that role). Probably likens itself somehow to the parable of pruning the vine. We all need pruning in our lives. Overgrowth happens – even with healthy plants! We need to trim back so that healthy growth doesn’t get chaotic and can continue to be fruitful and healthy. Without fully removing things from our lives, its really just ‘reserved” space for a later time of busyness. And I would whole-heartedly agree with Angie’s post above. Especially in church life, where the 10% carry the 90%. Its true in so many churches. We don’t need to be heroes, we need to be a family and share the love…and responsibility for discipleship. Sometimes, we find fulfillment in being busy because it makes us feel needed and important. But that’s a deception and burn out is a’comin’ in ministry when we think this way. True discipleship frees us from that load that can only be maintained by our presence and involvement. Training up others to take your place is not only fulfilling the great commission…its also God’s way of self-preservation! Blessings on this endeavor!

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