Busy people generally don’t stop being busy people. If they are spiritually aware, they will intentionally cease activity at regular intervals to be silent and still, to listen to the Divine, and to care for themselves. But then, they’re off! Busy people use their energy for action. Their minds rarely pause, because there are always multiple projects and plans forming.
I use “busy” to describe a person who is nearly always outwardly active—this is the person most of us see as busy. That doesn’t mean that people who are not so outwardly active are not doing anything; some of us spend a lot of time not in motion, yet we are doing loads of interior work, such as prayer, meditation or focused thinking, or creative work. Such “quiet” people have their own form of busy.
We tend to view the quiet person as being intelligent or even more spiritual than outwardly busy people, and this is simply a perception. A quiet, “spiritual”-looking person may not have much going on inside. Or the interior work may be entirely self-centered.
We tend to view outwardly busy people as those who “get things done,” and that, too, is simply a perception. You can be busy and not productive at all—if your activity is generated by restlessness or aimlessness or some obsessive need to be in motion.
Whether you are “busy” or not, it’s critical that you find God in every day, no matter what you do or how you appear to others. For the person in motion, the one we call busy, finding God in all things requires freedom and attentiveness. Are you free to stop doing what you’re doing? Are you free to appear un-busy to others? Are you free to change course? Are you paying attention to God’s presence right in the middle of your work and motion? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to prompt you when you are going full force in one direction, working hard to get things done?
For the person who is not so obviously in motion, finding God in all things requires exactly the same spiritual qualities: freedom and attentiveness. Are you free from your own tangle of interior life—the events you keep replaying, the resentments that simmer, the desires that become shrill demands? Are you free to change course—even if that means giving up some of your quiet and solitude? Are you paying attention to God’s voice within, allowing it to rise above any other voices you carry? Are you willing to recognize the Holy Spirit’s communication as it comes through other people or in the middle of activity?
Not only does God reach out to people who are in the margins of society, but God also reaches out to us in our personal margins—those spaces between where we find comfort and familiarity and where we are invited to explore and become uncomfortable. Whether you are a busy person who gets things done or a quiet person who seems to live primarily within, God will invite you to upset your own status quo. Because stirring things up challenges our illusions that we are in control, that we can take care of ourselves, and that we’re just fine, thank you.
How do you find God in all things? By cultivating the willingness to recognize the Divine. We’d like to think we are always willing, but so much of the time, we are too busy following our own limited vision.
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