I used to be very organized at work. I wasn’t one of those workers who took forever to return an email. If there was an RSVP for a meeting or luncheon, no one had to send me a reminder memo. I was on top of it. My office included open desk space and well labeled filing cabinets. My to-do list was refined, massaged, and edited daily and sometimes hourly. Did all of this make me a better employee? Was I adding true value to my employer? Was I doing truly meaningful work?
No, not really.
You can be the most organized person in the world and still not get meaningful things done. In some respects, I was busy organizing to avoid what was really important. Staying organized was shadow work but not the real thing. It was, as Tim Ferriss has said, “work for work sake.”
To avoid “work for work sake” you have to be able to determine what is truly important and let the rest take care of itself. I wonder if we do the same thing with our spiritual life? Are we busy with spiritual things yet ignoring what God is asking us to do? Does our spiritual life look better by human standards than it does to God’s standards?
Reading the latest buzz worthy Christian book, debating the latest theological trend, and listening to the next preacher superstar may make you look devout and knowledgeable, and you certainly are, in a sense, but it doesn’t mean that you are growing to become more like Christ. It doesn’t mean that you are becoming a more loving and generous person who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.
We may have to put away our books, our seminars, and our conferences and just spend some thoughtful hours with God in order to let him dictate what is most important in our life. Then, we need to go about living out that important thing and letting everything else be.