We mentioned in our last newsletter that we've sensed God calling us to come away with Him for a few months, to simply be in His presence, pray, meditate, and allow Him to refresh and restore us for the work that is to come. 

As Peter and I seek to obey, I've chosen a book called "The Rest of God" as one of my companions. I like going outside, to a wooded area, to read a chapter and meditate; and then spend the next several days continuing to internalize what I've learnt. 

This week, I've been challenged to jettison my tendencies to equate busyness with productivity. How dearly I love to cram my schedule full of people and events, doing things to serve God, to help others, and so on, and so on…

In the Greek language, there are two words used to express time.

Chronos — the time of clocks and calendars, a lesser deity who eats his children

Kairos — time as a season, an opportunity, or a gift

"[Kairos] is time pregnant with purpose. In kairos  time you ask, not "What time is it?" but "What is this time for?" Kairos is the servant of holy purpose." [1]

The irony is that, in trying not to squander our time (instead, filling it up with many things)—in our attempts, we accomplish what we are trying to avoid. 

"My efforts to gain time have only lost it." [2]

Time is itself a paradox: 

Chronos vs. Kairos

The march of minutes vs. the glimmer of opportunity.

One, in-your-face, unrelenting, demanding.

One, the whisper of so much more.

The Japanese written language is formed using three different character sets. One is based on Chinese characters. Here is the word for busy in Japanese:


The Chinese 忙 character is the one that carries the word's meaning, while the Japanese しい characters help with pronunciation.

Let's examine the components of the 忙 character a little more closely.

  • 忄is a variation of 心. It means "heart".
  • 亡 means "deceased".

This character for busyness highlights an important truth: when we subjugate ourselves to chronos, our hearts perish.

"We stop caring about the things we care about....We have let ourselves be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul." [3]

In reading this week's chapter, I found it especially convicting to be reminded that there is a quasi-comedic storyline in the Bible—of those who should know better (i.e., priests, scribes, Pharisees, etc.) missing the things of God, and those who are societal outcasts (i.e., shepherds, fishermen, prostitutes) being more sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

"Slow down. Look up from what you're doing. Notice Me. I want your attention, just because I want your attention."

These were the things God had to say to me.

So I did look up. And what did I see?

There were: blackbirds, a group of ten almost-adult ducks (who clambered over a large pile of rocks and up a steep embankment to eat all my bread), cardinals, robins, mice, chipmunks, squirrels (one who allowed me to pet him), a baby rabbit, some really beautiful bugs... and none of them were scared of me!

All but the ducks had come without the lure of food. I felt like I was in a Disney movie. 

How much have I missed by being too busy? By not intentionally slowing my life down? By making doing more important than being?

Lord God, thank You for reminding me of this important truth—that You do not need my busyness to accomplish anything. In resting, I am exercising my faith. You are the one who is in control. It is by Your efforts that anything is accomplished. I have very little to offer apart from myself, and when I cloak myself in busyness, I remove even that. So Lord Jesus, I come to You today, asking You to cleanse me of these sinful, prideful attitudes. Please let me sit at Your feet, like Mary. Let all other concerns drop away. Being with You is the one thing that is necessary. Amen.


[1] Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 113 of 593 in ebook. 

[2] Ibid, 131 of 593 in ebook. 

[3] Ibid, 141 of 593 in ebook.