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Chapter 7: The Cost of the Busy Life

Many of us may treat busyness like a pet Golden Retriever.

We spend time with Busyness. We pet and hug Busyness. We feed and take Busyness for a walk. When friends come over, we show Busyness off to our friends. We teach our children to play with Busyness and feel most comfortable when Busyness is curled up close by.

What if the reality is that “Busyness” is not a Golden Retriever but instead a full-grown king cobra?

The one who first appeared in the garden as a serpent has hatched an insidious scheme in our day “to steal, kill, and destroy.” Using his signature style of deception and masquerading one thing for another, Satan has convinced most of us that Busyness is our friendly family pet, not an aggressive, agile, killer.

You would never let a wild cobra live in your house and around your family. Why? Because you would know it was just a matter of time before one of your loved ones would be hurt or killed by the cobra.

If you had a cobra in your house, what would you do? You would get a machete, gun, or club of some sort and you would KILL IT. If it did not die right away, you would continue hacking, shooting, or beating it until you were sure it was dead.

Since busyness is so deeply rooted in our society, we will only treat busyness like a cobra if we clearly comprehend what it could cost us.

A Busy Life Leads To A Soul Disease

Chinese words are made up of characters. The individual meaning of the characters is combined to communicate the meaning of the word. The Chinese characters for the word “busy” are intriguing:

Busy Life Chineese

Most people can relate to this meaning. When we live day after day in the busy, overwhelmed, burdened life with relationships that rarely go below the surface, we begin to feel a degree of loss or death in our hearts.

If we live on this path for too long, our passion and zest for life feel like a distant memory.

Soul disease begins to set in and spread. We begin to make choices without regard to the things we will care about in the rocking chair. Much of the sinful behavior we witness can be connected to the effects of the busy life.

In the United States, more than six in ten Christians say that it’s “often” or “always” true that “the busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God.”

A Busy Life Hurts Those Closet To Us

Richard Swenson wrote in the Overload Syndrome:

“Virtually all of our relationships are damaged by hurry. Many families are being starved to death by velocity. Our children lie wounded on the ground, run over by our high-speed good intentions.”

Consider Swenson’s statement for a moment. How does “velocity” affect our relationships with those closest to us?

If significant relationships thrive or decay based on meaningful time together, high-speed living is costly as it reduces our time connecting with one another to dangerously low levels.

Who gets the brunt of the irritation, frustration, and criticism of the busy person? Normally, those closest to us.

It is ironic that we are most likely to vent the irritation and frustration of the hurried life on those whose admiration we will most care about at the end of our lives.

The busy life will cost you in the relationships with those closest to you.

Is It Too Late To Fix The Damage From A Busy Life?

If you are reading this and your kids are grown and you feel you’ve already failed on this point, may I suggest a course of action?

As we discuss in the book, a ninety-degree heading change in anyone’s life is noticeable.

What if you immediately began to make choices valuing time fully present with people more than everything that is less important?

What if you called your grown kids and expressed your regret and your commitment to spend the rest of your life putting a high value on them?

It is possible your radical course change would have reverberating effects on all your relationships and in the lives of everyone you love.

Your testimony at the end of your life could be different from this day forward.