I read today's devotion, and again I am faced with that excuse, that explanation -- busy. That same old, same old: "I have a busy life"; "I was too busy to notice..."; "I know we're all busy, but..."; "Thank you for doing that; I know you're really busy." What is everybody so "busy" with??? I don't understand. I don't get it.
However, as I read the devotion, it clicked. The author of the devotion was encouraging readers to reach out to our fellow human beings because we never know who might need a touch of Jesus' love. The author said, "[Often] I'm too busy to love people." And then I got it.
People aren't too busy. They're not really all that busy. Sometimes, yes, we have a lot going on (I know, it occasionally happens to me too), but it's not "busy" that keeps us from loving. Really, in these situations, "busy" is another word for fear. This clicked because I have mild social anxiety, and I as I read the devotion I thought about my neighbors across the street, particularly the woman, and how she looks nice and judging by how often her car is in the drive and the times it is, I'm guessing she's a nurse and how it might be nice to get to know her a little. But what's keeping me from going over and introducing myself isn't "busyness" but rather fear. That's when the busy excuse clicked.
I'm all for calling a spade a spade. Busy is an excuse that people far too often use instead of admitting fear; women in our society are especially prone to use this excuse as we're constantly fed empty misguided mush about being strong, to the point that the real meaning of being strong has been lost, and since we are to identify ourselves as strong, if that identifier has lost its meaning, then so have we. So rather than bucking up and admitting fear, we throw out, "I'm just so busy."
Those who know me, know about my blazing honesty -- for better or worse. I don't tend to use the "I'm busy" line; if I do something for someone, and she responds with the "Thank you for doing that; I know you're really busy" I respond, "No, I'm not." What keeps me from loving, which is the only thing God asks of us, is fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. Cold-hearted, bald-faced, old-fashioned fear. But there is hope for that:
"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline." (Romans 8:9a and 2 Timothy 1:7)
"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1)
All I want is for people to stop throwing out the excuse of being busy and admit that they're afraid, for only when we admit our problems (vulnerability) do we turn to God to fix us (humbleness). And when we turn to God, we can see that we already have the fearlessness built into us. He has already instilled in us a spirit of power (ladies), a spirit of love, and a spirit of self-discipline; we need to recognize these qualities and utilize them. And again, women especially, we need to recognize the lie that we are not the wimpy, air-headed, vapid, useless (redundancies abound) "strong" that society wants us to label ourselves and replace it with the truth that we are God's. That is who we truly are.