The busyness solution

by Ali Hoffman

North Texas Catholic


woman holding coffee cupwoman holding coffee cup

Have you ever felt like you were going 100 mph, doing all the things, but felt completely exhausted, burnt out, and wanting to collapse? But you couldn’t because people were relying on you and you couldn’t take a break because you already said “Yes” to everything?

If that’s you, welcome to the majority of the human race.

That was me only a couple of months ago. I was doing all the things. I was saying yes to good things. The problem was, God wasn’t necessarily asking me to do those things. I assumed that because they were good, God obviously wanted me to do them. So why did I feel so drained? Why was I so quick to get angry and irritable? I thought doing the will of God would bring this profound peace that everyone talks about.

But I was forgetting this gentle reminder in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”


I realized that I had stopped coming to Jesus. I figured, surely God wants me to do all these good things. But in the frenzy of doing, I forgot the fundamental “job” of being. I became swept up being Martha when the Lord was inviting me to be Mary (Luke 10:38-42). I was taking on the yoke of saving the world myself and it was so heavy.

If I dedicate my life to learning how to live by Jesus’ example, then I have to realize that Jesus Himself didn’t do all the things. He didn’t perform every single miracle while He was on this earth. He didn’t heal every single person. He simply did what His Father wanted Him to do. And how did He know what His Father wanted Him to do? He had a living and personal relationship with God.

In Saint Catherine of Bologna’s book, The Seven Spiritual Weapons, she details that the first weapon against temptation is zeal. We should be zealous in our pursuit of Jesus and doing what He asks of us. We should be excited to partner in the amazing task of making disciples of all nations. However, Saint Catherine tempers that with the following: “When the enemy sees that he cannot impede the servant of Christ from doing good, he will seek to entice her with doing too much….”

We think that since all these ideas are good, they must have come from Jesus. But Pastor John Mark Comer mentions in his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, that one of the greatest spiritual evils of our time is our busyness. We’re really good at busying ourselves with the things of Jesus and not so great with busying ourselves with just Jesus. We’re really good at putting on all the programs, putting in the work, and using our gifts and talents on good things (I don’t want to be mistaken that these things aren’t necessary, because they are!) but we forget that if Jesus doesn’t have our heart, then we’ve missed the whole point.

The meaning and purpose of life is to be in relationship with Jesus. The very first paragraph in the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in His own blessed life” (CCC 1). Jesus wants your heart more than He wants the things you do for Him.

If you’re in a season of being tired and worn out, go back to the source of life. Go back to Jesus to receive from Him what He’s calling you to do. Because His yoke is easy and light. He will provide.

woman holding coffee cup

Have you ever felt like you were going 100 mph, doing all the things, but felt completely exhausted, burnt out, and wanting to collapse?