The Badge

My church is currently doing a series on Craig Groschel’s Weird:  Because Normal Isn’t Working.  I have the privilege of working on our curriculum for grades 1-6, so I’m writing material for the kids to study alongside the adults.  The concepts–time, money, values–apply to all of us, really.  (If you know the book, we’re subbing in the topic of language for the one you don’t teach to first graders.)

We talked about time last weekend, and told kids to make time for the best, not the busiest. We compared our time to a buffet–lots of choices for how to fill it; just one plate.

Then I procede to start what are, since coming to the university, the busiest two weeks of my year, due to our all-school day of service that my office hosts.  There is nothing I can do to make these weeks less busy.  It’s just that kind of a stretch.  And really, it’s only awful for about 5 days.  Today until Saturday, in fact.

Here’s the thing.  I am fairly resentful of the busy badge.  You know the one:

How are you?

So busy. By which I mean important.  And valued.  Essential even.  It’s a wonder the world spins without my direct involvement.

Granted, the ego the underlies busy is usually more subtle than that.

And there are variations of the badge.

There’s the parent version, wherein all my busy-ness is not because I am overcommitted, but because I could never expect my kids to do anything less than play three sports, perform in two plays, and learn one instrument.  They’ll learn to be obedient to God in rest…well, later on.  Come on, they’re kids.

There’s the student version, worn by many of the kids at my university, where we compare who got less sleep and who has more to do and whoever that is… wins?  And who cares if I’m not really investing in good friendships or reflecting on who I’m becoming?  It’s college!  I’ll learn to be obedient to God in rest later.

Yes, the week ahead of me is busy by these kinds of markers–how many hours I’ll work, how many hours I’ll sleep.  I am tempted to think this is the only way I’ll get through it:

But I am committing this week to taking off the badge.  Instead, I will be aware of thanking the many, many people who will help me with the work load to make the event go.  I will go to yoga, even though I might be tempted to say I can’t spare the time.  I will try my best to eat real food created by God instead of just subsisting on liquid energy.  Because I don’t think the badge delivers on its promise of fullness and significance.  Wearing it drains us, even as our calendars fill up.  I want real fullness.  No badges.

One thought on “The Badge

  1. Amen. I committed years ago to NEVER say that obnoxious four-letter word, nor its first-cousin-on-steroids phrase “crazy busy” as if “busy” isn’t bad enough. Whenever I get that answer from others I just remain calm, take a deep breath, and ask another question. When people say it to me, “oh I know you’re super busy, blah blah blah…” I I just remain calm, take a deep breath, and say, “not too busy for ___________.” (whatever it is). You are so articulate Meredith, thank you!

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