Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Something to think about in 2015

courtesy of
I've been congratulating myself this New Year's Eve for being on top of things: finances under control, household chores all caught up, preparation for my meditation group in place for this Saturday, etc. And now that the holiday season is coming to a close, I'm looking forward to turning my full attention to my work as a free lance writer. That includes maintaining Katalusis, which I've been neglecting lately.

As my own boss, I get to set my pace and granted, my severe arthritis slows me down quite a bit. But you'll seldom hear me complain about how busy I am. Most always, I can take time to pause and visit with a friend or neighbor when the occasion arises. And I'm known to hang out now and then at a favorite coffee shop where, as in the Cheers TV series, everyone knows my name. At least the staff there knows my name, and I know their names, too.

I'm in sync with the Rev. Beth Merrill Neel's post today titled Busy, or Full over at the Christian Science Monitor. It's definitely something to think about as we ring in 2015. Neel writes:

When someone inquires how I am, I often reply, “Good. Life is full.” I say that intentionally because I have grown weary of the excuse of being too busy. There’s an implication that in my busyness I have shut out people I love. My mom will call in the middle of the week and say, “Oh, honey, I just hate to bother you; I know how busy you are.” Even harder is when parishioners say, “Oh, I know you’re so busy, I didn’t want to add one more thing to your plate.”

So I’m working on the discipline of considering my life full rather than considering myself busy. To say that life is full is to acknowledge abundance—an abundance of opportunities to engage in work that I find meaningful and interesting; an abundance of ways for my child to discover the world with friends and to energize body, heart, and soul; an abundance of riches because we have a home and friends and family and neighbors and community.

To say that I am busy puts the focus on just me. I am busy with administrivia and details because no one else can pay attention to them quite the way I can (which is untrue). To say that I am busy makes me feel worthy, because busy people must be important people must be powerful people, right? To say that I am busy implies that every moment is crammed with doing things that must matter a great deal, because why would I cram one more thing into my life if it weren’t deeply important?

I am not busy; my life is full, and I carry with me that beautiful image in Psalm 23: “thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

Read more:

Beth Merrill Neel

Beth Merrill Neel is a Presbyterian pastor. She blogs at Hold Fast to What is Good, part of the CCblogs network.

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