Busyness or Business?

By Linda Tancs

How often have you heard, or said, “I’m so busy.” What is busyness? Sometimes, it’s action for the sake of action (“busy work”), something to do to fill the void. Other times it’s something necessary and purposeful, like washing the dishes or preparing a meal. Business, on the other hand, often implies a purposeful activity, something with real consequence attached, like personal or professional growth, income or reputation.

The difference between busyness and business is found in Luke’s telling of Jesus’ friends Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). When Jesus visited their home, Martha was too busy attending to household tasks to enjoy Jesus’ company like Mary did. Martha even asked Jesus to chastise Mary for not helping with the hostess duties! Instead, He chastised Martha. Why? Because despite Martha’s seemingly hard work, Mary was the one who was truly productive. She got down to business, so to speak, in the Word of God. She took advantage of the opportunity for personal growth and understanding by learning at Jesus’ feet. She seized the day.

Sometimes the distinction between busyness and business comes down to a state of “being” (like Mary) or “doing” (like Martha). We all need to be doers in some respect, but don’t neglect being in relationship with Christ. When you’re lost in a maze of duties, lay down the distractions and put on His mind (Hebrews 12:2).

A popular poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis reminds us that all that separates birth and death is a dash (–). What does that dash represent for you? Busyness or business?