Is God Pro-Exhaustion?


My wife and I started teaching a four-week class on busyness yesterday. Delving deeper into this topic becomes more of a mirror to seeing ourselves than a window in seeing others. Both of us have started the conversation of what busyness reveals about our hearts.

One of the most telling insights we have encountered comes from Richard A. Swenson in his book Margin:

We must have some room to breathe. We need freedom to think and permission to heal. Our relationships are being starved to death by velocity. No one has the time to listen, let alone love. Our children lay wounded on the ground, run over by our high-speed good intentions. Is God now pro-exhaustion? Doesn’t He lead people beside the still waters anymore? Who plundered those wide-open spaces of the past, and how can we get them back? There are no fallow lands for our emotions to lie down and rest in.

The question that roars from Swenson, “Is God now pro-exhaustion?”  We add activities, refuse to edit our schedules, and never turn off the work mode. Somewhere in the midst of this, you and I can believe the lie that busyness can offer us significance, value, importance, and love from others and God.

Why we are busy tells us far more about our spiritual lives than what makes us busy.

Perhaps, God has called us to live a different pace than we currently live. He may have given us less responsibility than we have put on ourselves. The Gospel reminds us of Christ saving us through His death and resurrection, not us earning our saving ourselves through our busyness.

What would it like for you to experience the still waters God provides? You could take a walk outside for five minutes. Not look at a screen for fifteen minutes. Laugh with your family. Read over Psalm 23. Today, you and I can rebel against our busyness by stopping long enough to receive God’s grace in breathing.

Photo credit by Pierre Rougler.


  1. So true, Petey! We need to make room to be still, or we just get lost in our busyness and forget the point of it all. 🙂 thanks for the reminder!

  2. Only had time to read the first half of this post, but it started good…just kidding, Peter! Well written, and you are definitely tapping into a truth. I like to think I’m not like everyone else, that I don’t fall prey to all of these symptoms of the modern human condition. But, the other night, I decided that I would just sit at the dinner table with the kids and not look at my phone once. It was torture. I grabbed my phone three times, replacing it each time successfully before I activated the screen. At the end of our meal I finally gave myself permission to turn it on, and do you know what I had missed? Nothing. I didn’t get one email, text…nothing. But, what I would have missed, if I had been on my phone, is getting to show my children my undivided attention, showing their a level of care and interest in their lives. We all need to keep reminding ourselves to slow down, to rest, to get recharged by the Spirit instead of calling upon Him to keep us going at the pace we insist on.

  3. Great post Peter! Good words about God putting less responsibility on us than we put on ourselves, very true. Thanks for reminding us to re-examine our lives, and our priorities.

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