I am on Spring Break this week and my goal will be to post daily. I am making no promises after this week.I am not one to follow through on writing tasks, but today I am telling myself it is a new page in my own personal book. We will see. I think I have a lot to say. I think I have a lot to share. I have stories to tell. I am not sure if I have the guts to share them all, though.
Today my story is that I have become a bonafide workaholic. I cannot seem to stop. I must push, push, and push some more. I have begun to take pride in the absurd number of hours I work each week. My chest puffs out when people are (seemingly) impressed when I tell them I work as a full-time teacher and coach, but that I also work as a minister. I feel good when their jaw drops a little. I think I want people to walk away thinking, “How does he do it all?”
Oddly enough, the answer to that question is not pretty, nor is it something I ought to take pride in. It is not pretty being awake at 2 a.m. breaking down film on something called Hudl while your wife is asleep in the bed next to you. It is not a beautiful thing to be checked out emotionally for weeks or months at a time from your marriage because you are too busy with practices Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and you have games on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, not to mention that you work at church on Sunday and Wednesday, and have lesson planning and grading to squeeze in there somewhere as well. When you have poured every ounce of yourself into this, and there is literally nothing left for your wife; you feel it, and you shamefully know that she does too. That is not fair. That is not keeping my side of our covenant to be married. That is not what she signed up for, nor is it what I want. Yet, if I let it go unchecked, it will continue to happen.
I believe this has happened to me because I have believed the lie that the ultimate answer to “How are you?” is “I am busy.” There is no other answer that I can honestly give to that question anymore.
A side note: can we please get a better question! That question is not good enough. “How are you?” That is so weak. That shows an inherent disinterest in the answer to follow. Maybe it is because I am from the South, but this question is asked from me and to me constantly. I use this in passing to people that I do not even know. I wonder if they do this in the North? Do they stop to ask this question to a passerby in New York? I doubt it. Not that not asking the question is the answer, but getting asked this nonstop does not make us better people either. It is not charming. It has become, for me, annoying because it feels like a sign of disinterest – not the other way around.
My most honest response to this inquiry has become, “I am busy” and that is a bigger problem than the half-hearted, half-interested question. I am the problem. My need to look a certain way is the problem. My need to never ask for help or admit when I am exhausted is the problem. I am too Spiritually Busy to stop long enough to be Spiritually filled.
I am writing this week to start a reversal trend in the life of my own mind. I work so much as escapism from the actual problems in the life of my own mind, and in my own reality. I check my boxes and claim success. I have forgotten my own goal, my own telos. I have lost my driving force, which was always to be a peacemaker in a world that prides itself in being cutthroat. I will not put aside my affection with busy-ness until I reclaim my own life.
Today I confess that I have a problem. Today I confess that I am the problem. Today I confess that I have lost myself. Today I choose to step back into my truest self.
I will write more tomorrow.
Remember that Jesus has “overcome the world” and that being busy is not our calling.
Have a day interrupted by God’s goodness.
Grace and Peace,