Many of us have different things going on in our lives. From parenting to maintaining careers, and from maintaining marriages to up-keeping our homes to building up gifts/talents, etc. Busyness can come in many forms.
Dictionary.com defines busyness as the quality or condition of being busy (duh, lol) and, lively but meaningless activity.
So just to put myself on blast for a min, I have previously struggled with confusing the two here. Thinking that if I was busy that that meant I was getting things done and essentially being productive. But what God had to teach me was that I was just appearing to look productive by being 'lively" but if I wasn't pursuing Him and His kingdom and righteousness, none of the other things and work mattered and it was all counted "meaningless activity".
- Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought , and on the labour that I had laboured to do : and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11 (KJV)
- Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV)
So how do we put God first? What does that look like?
- And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him , and said , Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:39-42
The word in the Greek used for "cumbered" in this scripture is "perispao" meaning 'to be distracted, to be over-occupied, too busy.' Martha had confused being busy with being productive. But Jesus was quick to remind her that what Mary had chosen to do was good. Her choosing to sit at His feet above anything else, was symbolic that she placed Him FIRST in her life. She knew that the other things and chores could wait, til after she had spent time with God. Jesus made it clear that Mary had the proper understanding that He came before those things Martha was distracted by. He made it clear that what Mary had chose to do was the type of PRODUCTIVITY that matters. So although there were things that needed to be done, there was a priority in which they needed to be done also. God first, everything else second. What you choose to make a priority says much about your level of productivity and essentially your love for God.
Don't think that just because you're caught up with church duties and schedules that that is sufficient. This is just another form of busyness and there still needs to be time set aside for God. Not at the end of your day but at the beginning. This is how we show God we place Him first, before our busy lives. Whether we have to wake up an extra 30min before the day starts, it's a simple sacrifice that needs to be made for the betterment of our relationship with God. Nothing can substitute for spending time in Gods presence through prayer and worship. This is the place where we're replenished and refilled for everything we pour out to others, either in sowing or in protecting our spirits daily. Skipping out on this can result in us feeling empty and drained. Keep in mind that this is how people end up backsliding. Backsliding can always be traced back to a LACK of God in that persons life.
Busyness is just a distraction if we don't have a grip on what is important. Its a tactic the enemy uses to deter us from actually making progress in the building up of the Kingdom of God here on earth. From things that "need" to be done to people that can constantly pull on you for your attention for various reasons. But remember, what you see as valuable or important, you will strive to put first and make time for.