The Disease of Busyness –
Yesterday I attended a webinar on the importance of silence in the discipline of mindfulness. The two speakers, both doctors of psychology, wrote their thesis on the; “the silence in between” the notes in music. These pauses in between are just as important as the notes which are being played.
Too often we construct our lives with what we think makes us successful or at least look the part. We craft an existence that has no place for silence. We believe busyness is a sign of importance. Eugene Peterson says; “Busyness is the disease of our time.”
When there is no place for silence, reflection, taking the time to breathe in quiet and breathe out the noise which pollutes our lives we die on the inside, in the deepest parts of our being where only silence can fill.
Yesterday, on my way to an incarcerated father’s class, I parked in the corner of a lot under a nice shade tree. I wanted to pause, take a few moments to review the lesson plan and still my thoughts. The weather was beautiful and I rolled down the windows, felt the cool breeze on my face and took a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air. It was a bit of needed down time in the midst of a busy day.
The moment didn’t last long. Out of nowhere a pick-up pulled rapidly around me and in front of my truck on the grass of someone’s lawn. Apparently he liked the shady spot as well and since there wasn’t a parking space covered by the shade he made one in the grass. I shook my head and tried my best to let his perceived rudeness, and the irritation rising inside of me, go. Shifting my focus back to what I was doing, I took a couple more deep breaths and realized the driver had also lit up a cigarette. The smoke from the it was wafting on the wind into the cab of my truck. Sigh! My irritation level began climbing again and so I made the decision it was time to go. I didn’t honk my horn, utter a harsh word or peel out of the parking lot, I simply left. As I drove to the County Jail I thought about the pick-up driver and how some people can drastically change an environment.
Wisdom teaches us to be careful about the people we allow to be influences on our lives. There are folks who bring love, grace, positive traits and help us become better people. However, there are also those who bring out the worst in us. Through negativity, hostility, insults of others, feeding on our fears, insecurities, biases and pain. They pollute our minds, emotions and spirits.
It’s not easy to begin filtering people’s influence out of our lives. We may be hesitant because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or if they’ve been a friend and confidant for a long time. However, the ability to discern who brings stillness, peace and wisdom into our environment and who doesn’t is important and needed.