If The Devil Can’t Make You Bad, He’ll Make You Busy
I heard this quote a few years back and it’s resonated with me since as busyness on non-important stuff has proven to throw me off track many times.
And, while I hate to admit it, the last few months has been one of those times! I’ve also noticed that often when I often ask someone how they’re doing the answer is usually… “I’m really busy!”
And that includes me. I catch myself saying it ALL THE TIME!
So I recently looked up the quote and it seems to be attributed to Dr. Woodrow Kroll, an evangelical preacher, writer, educator and radio / TV host. But then I thought, it’s really not about the origin of the quote and it’s more about the simple truth that lies within these few words… If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.
I would contend that busyness and getting caught up in the non-essentials has our society (me included) so wrapped up in the busyness that we fail to focus on the important things that make our lives more meaningful.
Steven Covey described the important stuff in life as “big rocks” in his book First Things First and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (two of my favorites!) The big rocks include things like family, friends, health, faith/spirit, work, hobbies, passions, etc. (This video further explains the idea…)
Let’s break this down a bit further. I consider myself a good person and deep down, I think most of us are good people. However, I’m not a great person when I’m too busy and find myself caught in the trap of “just being good” and thinking that’s ok. Let me give you a couple of examples…
1. Just going to work every day to provide for your family is a good thing. But, going to work every day and stopping to give something to the homeless man standing on the corner, playing catch with your son or daughter after work, or sitting down for a family dinner with the ENTIRE family is a GREAT thing.
2. Going to church every Sunday is a good thing, but following through on that Sunday homily, attending a Bible study during the week, or helping a neighbor in need are GREAT things.
I think you get the point.
Recently my wife Jennifer told our kids that being Christian requires that you “do something” rather than sit idly by. Being too busy can cause you to miss those great moments that can set your world, or maybe the whole world, ablaze with kindness and fulfillment.
I don’t know about you, but I plan to spend a little more time focusing on the things that matter most and less on the things that just make me busy.