Bivocational, Brokenhearted Theology, Church, Equipping, Leadership, Meaning, Ministry, Ramblings, Relational, Teaching, Two Many Things

The Learning Circle and Busyness

Last week I posted about the 3DM Learning Circle and figured I would post a bit about a “circle” that I’m processing through right now.

I’m of the opinion that the word “busy” has become an empty signifier – a placeholder word that we all throw around without really considering what it means for the balance of our lives. Sometimes some people are busy to an unhealthy extent, but because “busy” is a word that everyone uses to describe almost every week of their life, those who are busy to an unhealthy extent are not encouraged to become less busy. The general Western/American sentiment often is: Why would you want to become less busy? Everyone’s busy, and you should be too, otherwise you’re lazy.

I also inherited hereditarily a dominant trait of busyness from my family. It runs in my blood and my grandmother reminds (warns?) me of this every time I speak with her.

So cultural and hereditary busyness has been building up in me for a while and it’s been a bit much lately. I’ve been sensing that much of my time is spent shallowly in many areas, rather than deeply and richly in a few key areas. This is true for me personally and in my pastoral roles at Kairos.

This is a “kairos” (not the church I’m part of but the Greek word meaning “divine time” or “god-inspired moment”) – a sense that there’s something bigger brewing beneath the surface of the regular rhythm of life that could be a chance for God’s growth and change to push me forward into new areas.

The “observe” stage has been happening for a while. I’m realizing that busyness today means stress tomorrow and burnout on the horizon. I’m not terribly excited about stress, and less so about burnout. I know that my current workload isn’t sustainable, and I want to make sure I don’t sit here too long without making changes that will prevent stress and burnout.

I’ve been working on the “reflect and discuss” stages with various people in my life – talking about busyness and the culture of busyness that’s all around us, finding out what others try to do to move from busyness to balance, etc. Out of this I’ve gotten several different ideas about how I might experiment and try to address the “kairos” and move forward into a healthier, balanced life.

And that’s where I usually stop. I’ve got some good ideas, and maybe I’ll stew on them some more. But that’d leave me sunk at the bottom of a circle, in the “Non-Learning Circle” and that doesn’t sound all that fun. And it doesn’t fix the uneasiness that I’ve been sensing. And it doesn’t take any faith.

Pointing out the flaws in yourself or in the world without daring to believe that there’s better possibilities ahead, ultimately, a disbelief in a redeeming, reconciling, and restoring God. 

So, I’ll post again later to talk a bit more about the second half of the circle – planning, accounting, and acting – the fun (and hard) stuff!


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