Introducing Parker Stripped, a new column by Louie Marsh, part-time minister at Christ’s Church on the River. Today, Louie starts with some well-considered words about reducing busyness in life, a message that suits the Parker area very much at the beginning of summer!
I suppose I should start this first column off by telling you that “Parker Stripped” has nothing to do with either strippers or stripping. I realize this will come as a great disappointment to some of you, but as they say, the truth hurts. The rest of you need have no fear, neither I nor anyone else will be disrobing here, which is further proof that just about every cloud has a silver lining since no one wants to see me au naturel!
Instead every month I’ll be trying to strip away some of the clutter, illusions, busyness and denial that so often fill up our lives and blind us from seeing what’s really important. If there is real meaning and purpose in our lives, and I believe there is, then why is it so hard to see? If we are here for a reason what’s stopping us from discovering at least part of what that reason is?
Those are huge questions and I don’t claim to have all the answers to them. What I want to do is to explore some facets of this topic every month. I want them to relate specifically to how we live life here in the Parker Area. I hope I can help to strip away some of the things that so often distract us so that we can both see the truth and try and live more meaningful and satisfying lives.
And here’s some more good news, this will be a Sermon Free Zone! What I write here won’t be sermon extracts or devotionals. So have no fear – no sermons allowed! I hope to approach these things from a spiritual and philosophical perspective that will encourage discussion, disagreement and ultimately action.
So what’s our biggest impediment to living authentic and meaningful lives? I believe that in our modern American culture it is our obsession with constantly being busy. Busyness has become the great pursuit of many of us and is often seen not as an option but as a duty. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people confess to me that they have time on their hands as if it were some kind of sin. Spare time is spoken of in whispers lest my uber busy friends and family discover I’ve strayed from the path of constantly busyness and heap shame upon me like some kind of modern day scarlet letter.
I know that many of you reading this (someone’s reading this right?) are so busy you practically run into yourselves coming and going. Young parents are so busy running their kids to a plethora of activities that they rarely have time to just be with their children and to get to know them. Husbands and wives have precious little time together either and are always on the go.
We have become a multi-tasking culture. That may be a good way to get a lot done – though recent studies suggest you become less efficient when you try and multi-task – but is that what life is really all about? Are you going to fret over all the unfinished things on you to do list when you’re lying on your death bed?
So for this month why not do an inventory of all the things that keep you so busy and just drop a few? Yes, that’s right, just say no to busyness! Take time to talk to your loved ones, or to read a book, or just to stare at creation and take in the wonder of it all. You might not be productive during that time but I believe you’ll be better for it.
Louie Marsh is a part-time Minister at Christ’s Church on the River, Chaplain of the Marine Raider Association and has traveled and taught the Bible in Asia, Africa and beyond.