I'm Busy

From time to time we'll debrief an event or program as a staff. Attendance is very rarely a metric we pay an inordinate amount of attention to, but we do want to gauge the response to something we have done in order to evaluate the investment we have made and to make sure what we are doing is helpful.

Almost always, the comment is made, "Well, people are busy."

I understand that, but refuse to accept it.

People are busy, but people have always been busy. Today people are busy with little league games, social activities, work events and school events; a hundred years ago people were busy tending the farm so their family could eat dinner. Busyness is a true statement, but it is not a statement of the real issue.

"I'm busy" represents a value judgment, plain and simple.

We will make time to do the things we truly value. If we value eating, we arrange our busyness so we can hold a job and earn a paycheck. If we value rest, we arrange our busyness so we can go to bed at some point during the day. If we value the football game, we arrange our busyness so we can watch it. And so on...

If I am too busy for your event, it means I value something else more, plain and simple. That isn't always a problem, but sometimes it is. Sometimes "busyness" is a mask that hides our idolatry. Sometimes "busyness" is a symptom of a greater disease. And sometimes "busyness" is an excuse that allows us to politely say "your event isn't helpful to me but I don't want to hurt your feelings."

In your planning, don't allow "busyness" to be a trump card that keeps you from going deeper. "Busyness" should always drive you to ask the deeper questions: What do people value more? Why is that the case? Is that their problem or mine?


Brenda Liniger said...

You and Kari are probably the two busiest people I know, you are constantly on the go from one event to the next. Having said that, I appreciate that you take time for your friends and that you invest your free time in others. It doesn't go unnoticed and it means a lot to us little people, thanks for not being too busy for others.

Debbie said...

Well said!