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Sermon Quotes

Busyness

Frederick Buechner

Sloth is not to be confused with laziness. A slothful man may be a very busy man. He is a man who goes through the motions, who flies on automatic pilot. Like a man with a bad head cold, he has mostly lost his sense of taste and smell . . . people come and go, but through glazed eyes he hardly notices them. He is letting things run their course. He is getting through his life.

Wishful Thinking

Mark Buchanan

One of the most convicting things I have recently come to realize about Jesus is that He was never, not once, in a hurry.

Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control.

Jim Burns

If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

The truth, however, is that when we say yes to invitations that keep us compulsively busy, we may be exhibiting a lazy ambivalence that actually keeps us distracted from the invitations that matter most. Squeezing every margin to the max, we are left with less time and space to respond to the invitations from God.

Taken from Invitations from God by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. ©2011 by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426. www.ivpress.com.

Angela Lynne Craig

Leaders can hold onto busyness like a weapon of protection.

Pivot Leadership: Small Steps…Big Change

Michelle DeRusha

Busyness allows us to avoid the deepest questions of our souls. It keeps us at arm’s length from our truest, most authentic selves. And when we don’t know our deepest, most authentic selves, we can’t know what work and what role God has for us in this world. In fact, when we don’t know our deepest, most authentic selves, we don’t really God, because it is God who creates our innermost selves, and it’s God who invites this authentic self into deep relationship with him.

True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created.

Francis De Sales

Several times during the day, but especially in the morning and evening, ask yourself for a moment if you have your soul in your hands or if some passion or fit of anxiety has robbed you of it…. If you have gone astray, quietly bring your soul back to the presence of God, subjecting all your affections and desires to the obedience and direction of His Divine Will.

Introduction to a Devout Life. 

Francis de Sales

While I am busy with little things, I am not required to do greater things.

Kevin DeYoung

My temptation is to tackle everything at once, or nothing at all.

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem.

Alan Fadling

My hurry is what often makes the yoke of life and ministry heavier than Jesus means it to be.

An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest, InterVarsity Press.

Doug Fields

There is a price to pay for busyness and it’s usually steep. You show me a busy person and I’ll show you someone who is broken somewhere. They may be hiding it well, but busyness is often fuel by some hurt/pain trying to prove itself.

Something Is Usually Broken

Doug Fields

We have the freedom to make choices that can lead to blessing and favor or painful consequences. Battling busyness requires me to take a look inside my heart to make sure that my choices align with my values/priorities. It’s not enough to simply prioritize my schedule, I’ve got to choose and schedule those things that matter most.

Something Is Usually Broken

Kevin DeYoung

My temptation is to tackle everything at once, or nothing at all.

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem.

Richard J. Foster

If you are too busy to read, you are too busy.

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

Jonathan Hayashi

Relationships take time, but we don’t want to take the time. In reality, too busy is a myth. People make time for the things that are really important to them.”

Ordinary Radicals: A Return to Christ-Centered Discipleship

Tim Kreider

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness.

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

Gerald May

We know we need rest, but we can no longer see the value of rest as an end in itself; it is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries.

The Awakened Heart, HarperSanFrancisco.

John C. Maxwell

The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness.

The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization.

John Ortberg

You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Zondervan.

Ronald Rohlheiser

We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual and more interested in the movie theatre, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.

The Holy Longing, Image Publishing.

Seneca

Finally, everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things—eloquence cannot, nor the liberal studies—since the mind, when distracted, takes in nothing very deeply, but rejects everything that is, as it were, crammed into it. There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.

Joshua Brooks

My guess is that for some of us, the “I’m busy” response is simply a badge we wear to portray an image of importance to each other.  Maybe not consciously—some of us play the “I’m busy” card out of habit.  But a lot of times, the motive lurking behind the “I’m busy” response is this: important people are busy people; therefore, if others view me as busy, they’ll also view me as important

Playing for an Audience of One: Learning to Live for the Approval of Jesus (Enumclaw, WA: Pleasant Word, 2008, p.215).

Martin Luther

I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.

Ronald Rohlheiser

We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual and more interested in the movie theatre, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.

The Holy Longing, Image Publishing.

A.J. Swoboda

The Sabbath is a gift we do not know how to receive. In a world of doing, going, and producing, we have no use for a gift that invites us to stop . But that is the original gift: a gift of rest.

Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World, Baker Publishing Group, 2018, Kindle Location 131.

Charles Hummel

A fanatic has been described as a person who, when unsure of his direction, doubles his speed.

Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent

John Ortberg

God does lead his people on roundabout ways.  He does not move hastily.  He is never in a hurry.  It is one of his most irritating qualities.

Love Beyond Reason (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998).

Anne Wilson Schaef

When we insist on doing too much, we are not only inflicting the damage of this choice on ourselves, we are sharing this damage with those we love the most.

Norman Cousins

It is a sprinting, squirting, shoving age.

French Proverb

Fear and restlessness kill more than do illnesses.

David M. Zach

We are hyperliving, skimming along on the surface of life.

Byung-Chul Han

They are too alive to die, and too dead to live.

The Burnout Society (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015), 51.

Wendy Wasserstein

Are these hyperscheduled, overactive individuals really creating anything new? Are they guilty of passion in any way? Do they have a new vision for their government? For their community? Or for themselves?” It seems “their purpose is to keep themselves so busy, so entrenched in their active lives, that their spirit reaches a permanent state of lethargiosis.

Sloth

Henri Nouwen

Our task is to help people concentrate on the real but often hidden event of God’s active presence in their lives. Hence, the question that must guide all organizing activity in a parish is not how to keep people busy, but how to keep them from being so busy that they can no longer hear the voice of God who speaks in silence.

In The Way of the Heart

Paul Jensen

It takes time to build and sustain healthy relationships. Time pressures can erode the quality of relationships and create fragmentation and isolation.

Søren Kierkegaard

The press of busyness is like a charm. Its power swells. . . . It reaches out seeking always to lay hold of ever-younger victims so that childhood or youth are scarcely allowed the quiet and the retirement in which the Eternal may unfold a divine growth.

Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), p. 107.

Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Sometimes we are not present because we are trying to play God—we move too fast and try to accomplish too much without acknowledging the limitations of our humanity and the constraints of our time. . . . So when we have the opportunity to sit in silence before God or be fully present with others, we are uncomfortable.

Mentor for Life

Ashley Hales

In a knowledge-based economy, the way we make ourselves seen and even validated is through more work. Busyness shows us that we’re valuable, contributing members to society. So whether we can’t stop checking our email or driving our children around to every extracurricular activity in the suburbs, we’ve equated our busyness with value. Because our Western culture values work as an “essential element of identity,” we stay busy to stay valuable.

Taken from Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much by Ashley Hales Copyright (c) 2009 by Ashley Hales. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson

I should have learned by now that life never settles down for long.

Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too, B&H Books, 2007.

John Starke

Here is a spiritual peculiarity to explore: that eternity is what we crave, and the first thing our disillusioned brains think to do is cram it into the hours of the working week.

Taken from The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World by John Starke Copyright (c) 2020 by John Starke. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John Starke

The witness of Christian history is that the ambitious need quiet hearts. We need ancient paths for our modern, busy lives that teach us to be settled with God in an unsettling world.

Taken from The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World by John Starke Copyright (c) 2020 by John Starke. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Ferris Bueller  (Matthew Broderick)

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986.

Robert P. Harrison

Precisely because our frenzy is fundamentally aimless while remaining driven, we set ourselves goals whose main purpose is to keep the frenzy going until it consummates itself in sloth. If at present we are seeking to render the totality of the earth’s resources endlessly available, endlessly usable, endlessly disposable, it is because endless consumption is the proximate goal of a production without end.

“Toward a Philosophy of Nature,” in Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, ed. William Cronon (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995)

A.W. Tozer

Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God.

The Pursuit of Go

John Starke

The witness of Christian history is that the ambitious need quiet hearts. We need ancient paths for our modern, busy lives that teach us to be settled with God in an unsettling world.

Taken from The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World by John Starke Copyright (c) 2020 by John Starke. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick)

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986.

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