Doing the Things that Matter

From the Monday Mission, March 9, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about busyness.

Depending on your personality, busyness can make you feel really accomplished, or really stressed out. But busyness in itself does nothing for us, except occupy us.

Consider the inexperienced kayaker. I live in a beach town right by a kayak rental shop. Although some days do look like the brochures, we often have rough, windy boating conditions. Does anyone tell the paying customers? No.

So they excitedly line up to get their kayaks and set out on open water, headed for a small offshore island. And for the next hour they struggle and strain, barely moving forward in the choppy waters as if they are on a treadmill. Sometimes they just return to shore defeated.

Just like the exhausted kayaker who never went anywhere, filling our week with exertions is no trick really. It’s easy. It’s the getting somewhere that can be difficult.

And if we are not busy doing the things that we value or pursuing the areas of personal growth we want, there’s no gain.

Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

Our Monday mission is to consider the contents of the week ahead.

Whether it is full or sparse, am I putting my mind and hands to the things that matter or is there a lot of filler?
What is one thing I can remove that’s unnecessary? (Remove it.)
Is there anything that has fallen off my radar that I need to make time for instead (quality time with a friend, time with God, rest, preparing good meals, etc.)?

Start with this simple prayer…

“God, I don’t want to waste my life one busy day at a time. I do have important things to do in the world because you have imbued my life with purpose and meaning, even when I can’t see it clearly. Help me to focus on what matters and get rid of the distractions. Be my compass for this week. Amen.”


Taming the Busy, Anxious Mind

If you ever feel like your mind is a tangle of activity like this banyan tree, and it might not be doing you any favors, this post is for you.
“Even when I appear to be relaxed or at peace, I often live under a constant barrage of thoughts. …They keep me feeling worried, uptight, pondering the future, and trying to negotiate or control the details. It’s pretty much the opposite of being at rest mentally.” Read more

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