Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yea Yea It's Holy Week. We're All Busy. Get Over It.

Everyone is busy.  Not only that...everyone is proud of how busy they are.  Everyone is happy to moan and lament how busy they are.

Pastors are busy during Holy Week.  Some pastors like to whine about how busy they are.  Well I'm in a situation where just remaining a pastor is a precarious thing, so no, I'm not going whine about being busy.  Besides the  Holy Week I had two funerals and teenager whose boyfriend was killed in a car accident cured me of ever whining about any Holy Week ever again.

At a recent interview I was asked about how I "balance" work and family or personal life.  My answer was that losing my husband when my children were young cured me of ever being tempted to neglect my or my family's well being for church "stuff".

 The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. ~Thomas Merton

I don't like this quote.  I get what he is saying but it's not "violence" when you make choices that make you too busy.  I don't like vocabulary that trivializes the real violence real victims experience.  I don't like this tendency of us well fed, well housed, educated folk to make out like we are powerless victims.  Being too busy does not make you a victim.

We live in a society that values busyness and so everyone feels obligated to be busy and then complain about how busy they are.  

I call bullshit on that.  You don't need to be busy.  The church doesn't need you to be busy, your family doesn't need you to be busy and you don't need to be busy and you know it.  You are not the only one in the world that can do all that stuff you think you have to do, and in the rare case that you are the only one that can do it, the world won't end if it doesn't get done.

Note - I'm not talking about single parents who have to work 3 jobs.  That's not "busy".  That's trying to survive.  God bless you and I pray that it changes soon for  you. 

But life goes in cycles.  You aren't "balanced" every day.  Some days are crazy busy.  Some weeks are crazy busy.  But if everyday and every week is crazy busy, you are making bad choices.  Period.  Stop whining/bragging and change something.


  1. So true. In particular, pastors who whine about Holy Week -- and I've done it myself, plenty -- are just ridiculous. It comes every year, the dates are 100% predictable, and you don't really have to do all that much anyway -- leading worship isn't exactly loading cargo on the docks. If you didn't make preparations in advance, then I'm guessing you were the kind of student who asked for, and got, a lot of extensions.

  2. Good commentary. Yes, set boundaries, pace yourself. I'm not a pastor, yet I have four evenings this week at my church. Oh well. I can stay home if I choose. The pastors can't. It is harder on those with little kids. In our family, I was the one to pick up the slack when my husband had some work weeks that were 50 - 80 hours long.

    We need to put things in perspective, as you point out. I've had some down days in the last two months, really down, but then I thought about how a couple of specific people have physical ailments so much worse than mine, so I just said, "Buck up."

  3. yep. busy this year. been busier. been less busy.

  4. I disagree with your assessment of Merton's words, even as I agree with your conclusions. The Good Samaritan parable, for example, reminds us of how our busyness cooperates with violence.