Monday, February 16, 2009

Is busyness a Christian value?

Is busyness a Christian virtue?

How about industriousness?  

How about hard work?

Is idleness a sin? 

What make idleness idleness?  How long must one not be industrious before they are idle?

These are some questions that arose for me this morning as I listened to the Bible Podcast from the good people at .  The passage today was from Ecclesiastes 4.  I particularly keyed into verses 5 and 6.

4:5 The fool folds his hands and does no work, 
so he has nothing to eat but his own flesh. 
4:6 Better is one handful with some rest
than two hands full of toil and chasing the wind.

Obviously, doing nothing is foolish for very practical reasons.  You will run out of food.  But notice that the opposite of doing nothing (sloth) is not busyness.  Busyness is called "chasing the wind" which is also foolishness.

It is better to strive today for what you need today.  It is better to take a rest as rests are needed.  

I'm assuming that most people reading this fall into two camps.  I know some people read blogs for escape.  It's OK to escape for a period of rest from the toil of the world, but if you are deep into blogs all day and otherwise unproductive, perhaps you have are a fool with folded hands.

On the other hand, I'd bet more people that I encounter in the blog-o-sphere are like the people I have around me all day.  People striving to get one step ahead.  People networking and building toward a "better future."  People chasing their next goal or their next dream.  People seeking a greater influence or a greater profit.  People chasing after the wind.  

Being industriousness is not a sin, but busily buzzing from one opportunity to the next is foolishness.  

Seeking what good God has for you today is the only reasonable use of your day.  That means finding not the work that pays the best, but the work that you are best created to do.  It means having relationships with people with a purpose beyond what can he or she do to help me get ahead.  It means enjoying the things that God has already given you whether those things be your family, your friends, you stuff or your work.

In what ways have you been chasing after the wind?