I heard a phrase the other day that pricked my ears. I understood the phrase as soon as I heard it because I have referenced it myself. I gave it a different name when I spoke about it, but their meanings are the same. I think I prefer this other phrasing over mine. It is simpler. The term I used was “Procrastination by Substitution”. I know, you’re probably saying, “huh?”. The phrase I heard was, “Busy laziness”. This one might make you say, “huh” also, but it is more direct. Can we be lazy while being busy? (fun fact) Combining two words that appear to contradict each other is called an oxymoron. I could go into the definition of each word and make a case that it is possible to be lazy and busy at the same time. I could just as easily do the same to make the case of impossibility of someone being busy and lazy simultaneously. If I picked a side and used the 300 words I have left to prove it possible or not, without revealing a deeper purpose for these sayings, I would in fact be proving them true. I would remain busy while being lazy, or substituting busyness for productivity. I am actually doing it right now. See how easy it is?
Do you ever do it? Do you ever keep yourself busy at something to avoid something else? It is very easy to understand when I say it like that, isn’t it? I know I do. I will give you one of mine if you promise to address one of yours. I will work on our family budget when I should be working on this blog, or Sunday’s sermon, or something else more pressing. Keeping our budget in line is important, but I can do it anytime. It does not require the same concentration as preparing a sermon. I can do it while being asked questions and with all kind of noises around me. Why do I/we do it? It is nothing new. Society has always offered something to keep us busy while accomplishing very little, and it continues to build. Society today has mastered this art. There are endless opportunities to keep ourselves busy and appear productive while actually producing nothing good. We have become experts at storing up treasure on earth while depositing very little or nothing in our accounts in heaven.
I bet you have already thought of one of your “busy lazies” and you are ready to work on it. That’s great, good job! I would like to add another one that I know resides with many of us. Have you ever substituted a busyness in the place of reading your Bible or praying? Have you ever thought about fasting only to have excuses keep you from following through? Has your busyness ever put God on hold, or hung up on Him altogether?