Thanksgiving Isn’t Over – Stay Unbusy
One Complaint Leads to Another
Last week’s Sunday worship was warming. We praised God for his goodness. We sang songs and felt deep gratitude to God for who he is, for what he’s done.
We were taking the attitude of gratitude home with us.
Until the amen.
We were dismissed. Unfortunately, my attitude of thanksgiving dismissed itself, too. The friend beside me was questioning why it had to be so cold in the sanctuary. Yes, I agreed, why? I’m freezing.
One verbal complaint led to more mental complaints. Many of them centered around time.
- Why is it taking so long to find Jeff in the crowd?
- What time will we ever get to eat lunch today?
- I need more time this afternoon to get things done.
It’s hard to keep a grateful heart when I feel pressed for time.
Do You Have Enough Time?
I struggle to be content with time. I have more things I want to do than time available to do them.
“If you feel ‘crunched for time,’ then you are. It’s as simple as that.“
– Andy Draft
I want more time. I need more time. Yes?
But this week of Thanksgiving—this life of thanksgiving—tells me otherwise.
It whispers, “Enough.”
I’ve always had enough. Now is enough, too. So why do I think there won’t be enough time in the future to accomplish what God wants to accomplish through me?
I want to trade my attitude of crunched for an attitude of enough.
We had read Colossians 3:15-17 that morning in church. It said,
- Let peace rule.
And be thankful.
- Let the Word dwell.
And give thanks.
To let peace rule and to let the Word dwell—which prompts giving thanks—I need to change my discontentment with time.
“Most of us feel some level of time famine. We do not think we have enough time for all the things we feel the need to do. We feel like we are starving for time. These feelings have serious consequences.”
That’s what Andy Dragt says in his new book Unbusy, that it’s not about doing more things but about doing the right things.
He says design the flow of your time so you’re free to spend as much time as it takes to achieve the important things.
But how can we arrange our time to accomplish the big things?
Dragt suggests we bring more structure, not less. Because “the opposite of structure is not freedom; it’s chaos.” And that takes deliberate intention.
“It takes work to design and live out an unbusy life.“
We have to define our values, purpose and priorities. Then plan our daily actions and routines around those goals.
Yet remain flexible within those routines.
“Be like water, and find a way to flow around the obstacles that come your way. There will be times when you need to shift into dramatically different rhythms and patterns to deal with what comes your way.”
I know my battle with time isn’t over. I still lust for more. But by being thankful for the time that I do have, my heart is more peaceful.
My attitude about time is an important part of how I spend it.
I want to foster the habit of being unbusy. Because of this: I want to live in the season of thanksgiving not only this week, but every week.
* * *
Do you feel you have enough time? Or do you always want more? Please share your battles and successes with time in the comments. I need to hear.
(If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read Unbusy for free.)
My thanks to SpeakEasy
for the review copy of Unbusy
- 6 Books I Recommend – November 2019
- On the Blog – November 2019
Thanks for this post. I read it just as I was taking a break from changing sheets on beds, doing laundry, washing dishes, making burritos, clipping nails and then looking at the clock, seeing it’s already noon, thinking I need to hurry up and jump in the shower if I want to do it before Mom’s aide gets here and when am I going to get to the grocery….and on and on….when all I really want to do is read blogs and books. LOL
That’s one of my desires: figuring out how to arrange my time better. It seems like I am busy all day with either nothing to show for it or without getting to a couple of things I wanted to. Some things can’t be let go (laundry, grocery shopping), but I am praying and thinking about ways to be more efficient at them. Ordering groceries online and then picking them up is a great help to shopping! Also, I usually read (or at least scan) through the blog posts on my Feedly list, then start doing my own writing. Just as I’m gearing up, my son comes in to ask me something or my husband comes home from work early. I’m going to try to switch it around to write first, maybe for a set time. Then I can relax and read and won’t be quite as bothered when interrupted. Plus I can usually read others’ posts here and there, but need more focused time to write. So I am hoping that will work better.
I run several businesses and just started another division that will have several minor divisions within it. So time for me precious.
Like Dragt points out, it’s all about setting up systems to handle all the day to day emergencies that inevitably show up often through out each and every day.
I’m not a great organizer, but I seek out the ones who are help make it possible to build the foundations of any organization.
That way I get a little bit of time to write! Reading… well… it’s suffering!
For ages, when I thought my time was being crunched, I would become overanxious about my to-do list, worrying whether or not I could meet my obligations. In recent years, I’ve learned to take a deep breath and pray for God’s help in setting my priorities. I can’t begin to tell you how much this approach has helped, Lisa! Sure, I still have lots to get done, but I’ve ceased to be concerned about whether I’ll get it all done in time and on time. I’m trusting God will see me through in all of it.
And this book sounds like a winner, too!
After this season of Thanksgiving, and after taking time to write down what I am thankful for, I realize I have often passed by the need to slow down. I’m hoping to change that now but especially after the first of the year. Thanks Lisa for the challenge.
“It takes work to design and live out an unbusy life.“ I needed to read this today. I am not sure how to even live unbusy. Thanksgiving was work but I did unwind on Friday. Today a little too. Maybe it is capturing the moments we can and making the most of them.
oh, so much needed food for thought here, Lisa. how easily our minds and mouths start whining and complaining right in the midst of all God has done for us …