The Encroaching Vine of Busyness

The Encroaching Vine of Busyness

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest.”
Matthew  11:28

“Wow!” I thought. “These trees are really thick on this road.  I can’t even see through the branches!” The side of the road was a mass of green leafy trees, so brilliant in the sun, and I was amazed at how many of them seemed so close together.  As I kept driving, however, I noticed that I couldn’t see any part of the trunks of the trees.  It seemed like leaves were cascading down the
trunk, instead of up to the light of the sun. It was then I realized that the trees were being overtaken by a broad leafy vine.  The vines had completely encased the trunks of the trees, all the branches, and the tree was actually in the process of dying.  “How sad,” I thought to myself.  “All this beautiful, luscious greenery is actually crippling and killing these trees.”

It is the same way with sin in our lives – in particular, the sin of busyness. When we are so busy doing things that seem good, positive, and beneficial, we can lose sight of what those “good” things are doing to our lives.  They are slowly encroaching on our personal time alone with God, and our quality time with those we love.  We keep adding events, and meetings, and ministry opportunities to our lives that fall into the “good thing to do” category, but we are slowly overtaken by our schedule. The busy lifestyle we have chosen slowly starts to crush our spirit and discourage our soul. We feel like all we are doing is “keeping up,” and we become useless in our service for God as a wife, mother, friend, as well as in our church ministry.

God did not mean for life to be this way. He gave us the principle of rest starting in Genesis 2 when he established a day of rest. All throughout the Bible this theme of rest continues.  In Matthew, God entreats us to come to Him and rest.  We need to look at our lives, cut out the vine of busyness at its root, so that it doesn’t overtake us and make us useless servants for God. Find ways to cut out the busyness in your life, so that your relationship with God and others can flourish and grow.



  1. Linda said,

    August 1, 2011 at 9:05 am

    You’re back! I’ve missed you.

    This was a good post for me right now. Back to school time, back to activities time, add to that a family emergency and the busyness is starting to mount. I needed this reminder BEFORE it all descends upon me!

  2. Susan said,

    August 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Yes, I plead guilty. I am slowly learning that a need is not necessarily a call, and that a call may be time-limited in the sense that I am called to do a particular thing for a limited time, and then stop. The second one is the hardest because my pride cannot let go if I cannot see how that particular need will be cared for if I stop. When I do not stop, my whole life gets out of balance, and becomes toxic.

    Thank you for posting this, Joanna.

  3. kelli zaniel said,

    August 2, 2011 at 5:37 am

    You are so right. Busyness can interrupt our God-honoring attitude and allow the ugly to come out. We have to be intentional about denying ourselves and that includes being busy! Great post!

    • Karina Olson said,

      August 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Jo- Thank you for the analogy and timely reminder. It is so easy for opportunities to look like necessities… If I am not careful I volunteer for too many things and the next thing I know I am uptight, impatient and overwhelmed. (None of those are fruits of the Holy Spirit!) I’m more careful than I was 10 years ago, but I still can jump in too deep sometimes!

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