For a little over a year, I've been making an intentional attempt to call my life full instead of busy. The idol of busyness is one Christians are particularly bent toward worshipping and busyness can also become the shield we use to protect ourselves from adding unwanted appointments to our calendars. For a long time I've tried to curve myself into a person who counts unbusyness as important as busyness, but more and more I'm realizing even that needs some adjustment.
My life is full, but it is not busy. My days are full from the moment I wake until I sleep, but most of the minutes and hours are not appointed to places, people, and things, as much as they simply happen and are kept full, or catch me being attentive to them. I have a lot of margin built into my life on purpose so there is time to pause during something that must be done (for work or home or family) to pay attention to something that might be done (like listening to a friend for a minute or praying with someone or sometimes staring out the back door, like I'm doing right now, at the golden buds of spring and red-tipped Photinias, and listening to the birdsong). If our lives are scheduled to the brim—even with good things—it doesn't give us time to see or appreciate humans as more than an appointment or nature as more than the ground on which we walk from car to coffee shop. My life is full, full and brimming over, but it is not busy.
Springtime, though, always seems the most full to me. These are the days when I must force myself out of the musts and into the mights more often. Being a freelancer means I can choose my hours, but more work means fewer spare hours from which to choose. I am grateful for the work, though, because I like to work. But I think the discipline of changing my verbiage has helped form this true love of work instead of the begrudging duty it used to feel like. When my life is full, I love my work. When my life is busy, I begin to despise my work. And if my primary work is to be faithful, I want to love faithfulness. It reminds me of Psalm 85:10,
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
The beautiful picture of love and faithfulness joining, righteousness and peace kissing is one I want to have threaded through all of my life. I know hardship and trials and pains and disappointments come, but the nearer we come to the coming of our King, the more what is good will begin to join and unite and bring joy. This is good news for the busy people who need to be satiated by their Savior more than their schedules and the full ones who need to see fruitfulness is more about faithfulness than accomplishments.
Here are some beautiful things I've read in the margins:
When You Can't Afford to be A Good Mom by Hannah Anderson
Bodies of Truth by Abby Perry
In Defense of Irrelevant Films by Brett McCracken
The Idol of No Pain by Rachel Joy Welcher
And my favorite, Jesus is Coming, Plant a Tree by N.T. Wright