“No, I can’t. I’m too busy.”
I’m a bit surprised to hear these words uttered by my three year old nephew. I don’t think he really knows what those words mean. I asked if he had given a hug to his grandma and he said he was too busy, as he tiredly walked away from me. He has heard this phrase but he doesn’t understand how to properly apply it. My brain thinks briefly of The Princess Bride and the misuse of the word “inconceivable.”
Then I think about my conversations with my relatives and I realize that I am very quick to fall back on, “Life is busy.” It is a nice conversation filler but it doesn’t really tell one anything. Which is partially the point–life is filled with many things but I don’t want to fully articulate them right now. Life is either busy or nothing is going on.
Somewhere along the line I began to think of busy as success or as the necessary answer for how my life is going. Because I can’t say I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I can’t admit in casual conversations that I’m at times frustrated with the Lord and myself. Or that I want to sit in my classroom and cry some days while other days fill me with over-the-moon excitement and joy.
Oh the contradiction! Here we are at the “busy” part of the year that revolves in essence around a quiet manger scene. The God of the Universe enters into our chaos, confusion, and hurt and the world for a moment seems to be still. We are enraptured by the glint in the newborn’s eye, in the soft giggle, in the squirm of chubby arms and legs.
I need to come up with a better response than, “I’m busy.” I’m present. I have time for you.