I'm not going to say @#$% anymore.

I grew up on a construction site in Mississippi. I was around guys with names like Poochy, Chicago Lee, and Swistich. They knew how to cuss. I have struggled for years (often without much success) to avoid following in their poetic footsteps. Of the four letter words I try not to use the toughest is the b-word. Busy. It's profane and common as pigs tracks but most of us use it so we can feel important. I've decided to stop.

I took part of a day last week and attended a preaching conference at Baylor's Truett Seminay. I often cross I-35 to recharge at Truett.  Craig Barnes gave the lectures and the q and a was rich. One student asked him about how he found time to write with such a busy life. This is the distilled version of what followed -

I studied under Martin Marty and asked him the same guestion. He cut me off mid-sentence and told me not to be busy. Busy is boring. Everyone is busy. Be scheduled. 

Here's my strategy for battling busy:
Quit saying you are busy.
Do not be busy. Be scheduled.
Busy people feel like victims.  Refuse to be a victim.
Busy people often suffer from the deadly sin sloth. Busy is it's weird manifestation. Don't be a busy sloth.
Buy a calendar and watch and learn how to use them.
Learn that each moment is sacred so do one thing at a time. Pay attention.

Have a great day y'all. Don't talk @#$%!


Dana Lee Haines said...

Well for sure today I am not busy, just scheduled, as missed my flight for my adventure to West Virginia, so starts a beautiful day as I get to watch sunrise from the ground!

Taylor Sandlin said...

I have been concerned with how many people come into my office for a sceduled appointment and the first thing out of their mouths is an apology about interupting my busy day. I tell each of them that meeting with people is what I do! I wonder though if I give off the impression that I am too busy for people or if this is just an assumption people make. It concerns me greatly if it's the former and even a little if it's the latter. I want to be known for being a person of hospitality and not business. Wondering if you experience the same thing? Any thoughts on how we as pastors can overcome the impression that we are too busy for people?

Matt Snowden said...

I do experience that. I experienced it Wednesday. I had a scheduled meeting with a wonderful guy who is a leader in our church. He made time to talk with me about some important church business. He apologized for the time we spent together. I bet I hear, "I know you are so busy" 6 or 8 times every week. I simply think busy is a chronic (sp?) condition in our culture. I just try to reassure congregants that I love them and enjoy the time we share. I hope it works.I've decided to go to war with busy. I think that "interruptions" are my minsitry so I don't shut my study door often. I've been doing most of my sermon work at home so that I'm present and unhurried at church and in the community. How are you dealing with it?

Taylor Sandlin said...

My door is likewise rarely closed. I've noticed that in the NT, a verse that begins, "Jesus started out towards such-and-such-a-place" is rarely followed immedietly with, and "Jesus arrived at such-and-such-a-place." There is always an interruption. Remarkably, the interruptions are where we find the miracles. I've preached on that a couple of times. I would like to learn more about Marty's method of scheduling your time. Like you, I do most of my sermon work off campus. I like the public library. That time is semi-scheduled. I struggle with doing only one thing at a time. During sermon work, I do try to keep the internet turned off as much as possible to keep from getting notices of e-mail/etc. I have not made progress on people's assumption that I am a busy man.

Matt Snowden said...

It's possible some of our congregants are simply saying, "Thanks for working." Let's hope. I'm praying for you as teach throuh your project. I loved the first chapters.

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