Busyness is an illness of the spirit, writes Eugene Peterson.
Do you find that true? Because I have been playing hide-and-seek with that truth the last couple weeks, and now I'm cornered and found.
I am so tired, yet so full of sleep. These are the words that arranged themselves like an epiphany. I am getting 7-8 hours a night. I'm napping when my afternoon gets foggy.
A couple Thursdays was our weekly Sabbath. It's supposed to be a day when we strip down the technologies that have fused themselves into our day-to-day. It's supposed to be a day when we let go of the drive to move our footballs downfield, be it jobs or doing ordinary life chores or building a social media brand (holy roller that I am, I've taken a 3-month Sabbath on the last one).
7 am Thursday rolls around, and I am camped around the dining room table, imbibing coffee and jotting down every last thing I need to get caught up on. To have really good Sabbaths, I'm gonna need to burn through one. Our problem, I say to self, is that we've got so many overdue things in our life, and our harried minds are paying the fines.
So wife and I spent the morning steamrolling our to-do list: grad-school orientation for her, setting up student loan payments for me, getting all of our billing addresses changed, setting up a rental pickup truck to snag the last pieces of our living room puzzle.
It wasn't until we sat in the waiting area for our IKEA furniture to get picked that I began feeling heat rise up in my chest. I don't know how you get when you get tired-- maybe you cry, maybe you disengage-- but I stop talking and irritating things cling to me like static. I wasn't angry because things weren't getting done. I was angry because they were and I felt just as restless as the crusty-eyed incompleteness that woke up that morning.
I am so tired, yet so full of sleep, writes last Thursday's journal.
And in more vulnerable moments, I might write
I'm so addicted, but I secretly think overdosing will break the bondage.
If I'm alcoholic, rounding the bases toward the next blackout, you'd stop me soon as you saw it.
Yet if it's been twelve days since you've sat down for a dinner that you've made, we'd toast to your dedication and order another bottle.
So here it is: I'm addicted to movement, to getting things done, to making to-do lists for the feeling I get crossing things off.
I'm sick with busyness, and I'm sick of being sick. And I'm trying to learn the kind of life where I can notice Jesus, be present with you, and listen to myself. I'm trying to live like there is a nagging restlessness inside of me, and no amount of work will dig deep enough to address it sufficiently. That if I'm tired, I probably shouldn't wish it away. Like, maybe I should take a break and read a good book. Or watch a baseball game while doing... nothing else.
Or, if I'm feeling revolutionary, maybe I'll just take a couple deep breaths, acknowledge that I am tired, and 'keep company with Jesus and learn to live freely and lightly.'