Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:20
For much of my life I sought busyness. If I wasn’t “doing” then I was not worthy. It didn’t matter what that doing was, I just needed to do something. When I quit working to be a stay at home mom my greatest fear was to be seen as worthless. A non-contributor. And yes, I know I was doing the important work of raising a child. But having grown up through the 70s and 80s, being a homemaker was not a goal any of my friends wished to attain.
When my husband would come home from work and ask me, “What did you do today?” I took that as a judgment of my worth. I felt the need to provide an hour by hour list of all the important things I had accomplished.
Fast forward to 2020 – yes, the Great Lockdown. I see that time as a sifting of sorts. If you weren’t tied to a Zoom-based job you either embraced staying at home working on little projects around the house, completing endless puzzles, catching up on all those books you’d ignored, jumping in to Bible studies or you were going mad with boredom and itching to “do something important.”
What does this all have to do with praising God? I realized the other day that I need to be thankful to Him that He never asks us to live a life of “busyness.” I praise Him for instead expecting us to live a life that bears good fruit. Quality over quantity. He is not a task master. He doesn’t have verses in the Bible about accounting for every hour of our day. Yes, He doesn’t want us to be idle. But that means not wasting our precious time doing things that don’t produce good fruits.
Time spent in mediation is not idle. It helps me commune with Him. Time spent in study brings me closer in line with what He wants of me. Time spent in nature helps me appreciate and praise Him. Time spent with my husband during a round of golf brings us closer together and strengthens our marriage.
But busyness distracts me. It physically causes my heart to race thinking I need to accomplish something – anything. It darkens my heart when I equate my doing with my worth.
Jesus came to change our hearts. To remind us that our wrong intent is just as bad as our wrong doing. And knowing that releases my heart and mind to live in a peaceful state.