Needing a Busyness Fix…
For all my talk, I suspect that the plethora of people who think I’m full of (pick your favorite filler) may be right.
I often teach against the sin of busyness. I love to introduce people to silence and solitude as spiritual disciplines to combat this mighty foe. But it’s all a sham – I’m totally addicted. And right now, like a true addict, I need the fix just to stay normal. Silence and solitude are like poison to me – my body and mind need the busyness.
Busyness is often a crutch for insecurity – I’ve long believed that. It’s also a great tonic for a really covert form of procrastination. Why deal with something today when I can deal with 20 other things instead?
My time at Reunion Arena was great for lots of reasons. It gave me a chance to do something really meaningful and positive with my mounds of free time right now. It allowed me an opportunity to get beyond myself and serve “the least of these”. I had the opportunity to meet people with amazing faith stories that I can later draw strength from. It also gave me a VERY busy schedule to drown out the ever growing anger and depression that I’m struggling with. Now its over and I’m forced to deal with the demons that have been clawing at my sanity.
The truth is that as the days have turned into weeks, and now to nearly two months, since I lost my job, the inner turmoil has grown. Several things have happened during this time that have only compounded matters. I can’t even settle on one good negative emotion: anger, sadness, bitterness, depression, confusion, fear…take your pick. As I approach the end of my “paid time off” and real, holy-crap-I’m-broke unemployment looms without much hope for a new ministry job in time, I just want to crawl into a hole and quit. (I’m interviewing with several churches, but they’re all still a good ways from making a decision.)
I can, and will if necessary, get a lousy job at Home Depot (if I lie on my application…too much school = overqualified = no job), and that makes me even more angry and bitter and sad and confused and depressed…
Okay, so now those of you who have heard me talk about blogs are thinking, “Bret, this sounds like an online diary instead of a forum for thoughts on spiritual formation. I thought you were ‘fundamentally opposed’ to online diaries because nobody cares!” You’re right, I am! But there is a spiritual formation issue at stake here. I recognize that, even though I take no comfort from it now, this is a very spiritually formative experience. Part of why I want to catalogue it is for future contemplation and part is because I know that I’m not the only one wrestling with this type of issue.
When I’m a little less upset I intend to reread Gary Thomas’ Authentic Faith: The Power of a Fire Tested Life. This book deals with the spiritual growth that comes through trial and not-so-pleasant spiritual disciplines like “waiting.” For now, I “know” that God will not leave me here, that this will be a growing experience, blah blah blah. With that said, let me just say that it sucks, I hate it and I want it to stop.
In my last class at ACU it was said, “The way in which you leave one Church will determine the way in which you enter the next.” I hope that isn’t a universal truth because I’ve tried to leave my last church well, but I’m failing miserably.
Perhaps failure is the next spiritual discipline I will learn. Until then, I’m falling off the wagon on a binge and am going to imbibe in a little busyness…