Confessions of a Busy Body

I confess. I’m a Busy Body—a compulsive planner and doer. I measure success by how much I produce through my whirl of activity. That fact crystallized for my “let’s take it slow”-husband early in our marriage.

Jim and I traveled to an isolated lake cabin in East Texas. I loaded my suitcase with books, a stack of magazines, a deck of cards, and yarn for an afghan I wanted to knit. Jim packed one magazine.

Having trouble sitting still, I finished the afghan during the four hour drive to the lake.

“We’re here,” Jim announced. I looked up to inhale the piney woods and feel the crisp breeze rustling the leaves. My steady breaths morphed into short, rapid gasps. My heart pounded staccato beats against my chest.

“We’re here? But what will I do here?” The romance of five days without a television, people to coordinate or projects to complete evaporated. Three days, three books and a thousand games of solitaire later, I was done doing. What do I do now? I confessed to Jim, “You can’t put a city-certified girl in the country and expect her to survive.”

Action and achievement defined me. Until several years later when a retreat leader scanned the audience and announced, “The only thing God wants from you is to be in relationship with Him.”

This past week, God used circumstances and a minister’s words to remind me of that lesson. Put God first. Stop the busyness. Take a moment to disconnect from constant activity and get to know Him. Everything depends on this priority. Yet, I realized that, once again, old habits crept back into my days. I cleared an overflowing plate of activities only to replace them with others.

 I forgot to set aside time to be still. To wait on the Lord to mold me into whatever He created me to be. To avoid being like Abraham’s Sarah, another Busy Body, who tried to help the Lord along in His promise to make her a mother (Genesis 16:1-6).

So, this weekend I let go of my Busy Body-ness. Instead, I spent three hours with a friend over lunch, watched a movie with my husband without doing anything else at the same time, took a nap, dove into a new devotional study and dug around in my garden — just waiting and being with Him.

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, And wait patiently for Him to act.” (Psalm 37:7, NLT)

About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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One Response to Confessions of a Busy Body

  1. Leah Jane Taglienti says:

    Oh, do I see myself in this busy body. I shared with you my year-long preparation for retirement and it was not enough. There is so much time to fill. I must learn the lesson from your writing and learn to sit and wait for what there is in store for me and not hurry it along just to be occupied. Quiet, calm, and waiting have a lot to be said for themselves.

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