Sunday, December 12, 2010

(not) busy

This Advent I've been reading Richard Rohr's Preparing for Christmas: Daily meditations for Advent. Saturday's reflection included the following:
It seems that we tend to think that more is better...busyness is actually a status symbol for us! It is strange that when people have so much, they are so anxious about not having enough - to do, to see, to own, to fix, to control, to change.
Every time I move to a new place I'm especially aware of my craving for busyness. In the initial days, weeks, months of getting settled into a new job and a new "family", of finding a new community, I find myself angling to be needed, anxious to be useful, to be somehow in demand. Free time can feel stifling and threatening rather than restful.

Realizing this week that I was actually a bit envious of everyone I know who is in the middle of finals was a particular wake up call. My nostalgia wasn't focused on the intellectual challenge and sense of accomplishment (though I do miss those things), but on the sense of having very important demands (or at least what I thought were very important demands) on all of my time. I realize how ridiculous that must sound to anyone who's currently living on too little sleep and too much caffeine while scrambling to get papers and exams done, but there it is.

I find myself needing the words of Isaiah: " quietness and trust is your strength".

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