rebelling against low expectations

We Are Not Too Busy


“I’m sorry; I just can’t this week. I’m too busy.”

“If only I had more time, then I could finally get around to doing that. I’m just too busy.”

We’ve all said such words before. We endlessly feel like we have no time to do anything as we rush around, complaining of our extreme busyness.

We explain that we’d go to the gym if we had more time, that we’d call our grandma if life ever slows down, or that we’d help a friend with a project if things would get less hectic.

Years can pass, and we suddenly realize that we never got around to all these things we were going to do when our schedule cleared up. Yet, each day of those years was filled. We chose how to fill each day.

Maybe it’s not that we “are so busy” and do not have the time to do certain things so much as that we do not make the time. We all have twenty-four hours to fill each day.

Ultimately, from the time we get up to the time we go to bed, we choose what is going to fill those hours, fill our days, and thereby fill our lives. What we choose shows what really matters to us — what’s important. It reveals our priorities.

We may decide that going to school to get an education or going to work to provide for ourselves and our families is important. We may decide that talking to friends or co-workers is important. But every choice we make comes at a sacrifice of another choice.

We may decide that “me-time” watching more of our favorite TV show is more important than talking with our family. We may decide that meeting a friend for dinner is more important than learning how to play the piano as we’ve been meaning to for weeks.

Not all of the choices we make at the expense of other choices are bad. Some are simply personal preference. We can face problems, however, when our choices cause us to neglect our responsibilities — both our responsibilities to other people and to God.

Ultimately, what we choose to do with our time reveals where our heart is — or, more so, it reveals who is in control of our heart, and therefore our actions and time.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).

Our actions reveal what’s important to us. What’s important comes from what has taken first place in our heart, from who is in control of our lives. And God has asked to be King over us — over every part of us — which includes letting Him be Lord of our time.

“Don’t waste your breath proclaiming what’s really important to you. How you spend your time says it all … There’s no sense talking about priorities. Priorities reveal themselves. We’re all transparent against the face of the clock.” — Eric Zorn

Here are some choices we face today:

  • We can pick up our phones and check out, or we can tune in to the needs of people around us.
  • We can use our time to creep on other people’s lives, or we can purpose to actually spend time with people.
  • We can keep choosing to procrastinate on that one task because this show is just so good, or we can buckle down and see our dreams come true.

If it’s important enough to you, you will make time to do it. If He’s important enough to you, you’re going to let Him be King and surrender your everything — time and all.

It’s time to stop using the excuse of being “too busy” and face up to our choices. It’s time to take a look at our lives and see where our priorities lie. It’s time to see what we are willing to sacrifice and what we are willing to choose to make time for.

There is simply no such thing as “too busy.”

We all get 24 hours a day.

And the choices are up to us.

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Photo courtesy of Earls37a and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Deborah Spooner

- a college student and pastor’s kid - is a city loving and avocado eating cultural enthusiast, creative, and dreamer who is addicted to dipping words in candor as she writes for her blog Hope Shining. Her hope is anchored to a man who came to earth around 2,000 years ago – Jesus of Nazareth – and she just wants to know Him and make Him known.


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  • Thanks for this fantastic post, Deborah! It’s a timely reminder for me (pun intended!
    ;). And the quote from Eric Zorn is so perceptive!

    P.S. I haven’t commented on the Rebelution website for ages because I’ve had to do
    the hard thing of spending time on things more pressing than commenting. 🙂 I’m
    afraid I won’t be able to be an active commenter on the Rebelution site
    anymore. But I’ll continue to read the Rebelution’s posts when I have the time!
    This is such an amazing, encouraging community of like-minded ambassadors for
    Christ. God bless you all, Rebelutionaries, and keep doing hard things for the
    glory of God alone!!!

    • Hey Kim! Thanks so much for you comment! I’m so glad that you’ve been able to really determine what “hard things” you need to make the time for at this season in your life; that honestly can be one of the hardest parts of it all, in my opinion! Keep up the good work of seeking the Lord for that, and I’ll be praying that you have God given strength to persevere! (and I totally agree, too, the Rebelution is such a fantastic community, and it is so awesome to see what God is doing through the Rebelutionaries!!)

    • Hey Clare! Thank you so much for commenting! I’ve found myself needing to re-read this post, too, recently 😀 I’ll be praying that you have discernment to know what now is the time for and that you’ll have the strength to do it! God bless!

  • Awesome! It’s true. We have to make time for what’s important, otherwise, the “I’ll do it later”s turn into “I’ll do it never” without us even realizing.

    Have an awesome day!
    – Trent

  • Thanks, Deborah. I needed to hear this. I kinda suffered a meltdown from the stress of my schedule. I believe it’s healthy to let in “necessary distractions” in your life every now and then.

    • Hey Alana! Haha, yep, I know how meltdowns can go 🙂 I totally hear you, though – sometimes distractions can be a healthy break. I think the balance comes when we learn how to use distractions right and are able to focus on what we need to when we need to (while still knowing when what we really need to do it take a break). God bless!

  • Thanks for this, Deborah! This post is literally relevant to just about everyone. It’s an area in which we all need work! And it goes right along with a Rebelutionary mentality.

    Many people often think, “If there were only one more hour in a day! 25 hours, that would be great.” But what would we really do with an extra hour? For most of us, it would just get soaked up into the rest of our lives. But if you were to devote that hour to something important each day, then after a few years you’d have hundreds of hours under your belt! That’s how we need to look at each day. Every hour has the potential to do something super beneficial in our lives. We just need the discipline to put it to something good.

    • Hey Nathan! Wow- you nailed it! I really like how you put it, that, for many of us, the extra hour would simply be “soaked up into the rest of our lives.” That general concept has really been on my mind a lot lately, and it definitely has affected the choices I’m making. Even with “the small stuff” that only soaks up about 15 minutes, we are still devoting 15 minutes to it, and multiple “15 minute choices” end up absorbing a lot of our precious time. Often, I’ve found that the time I sacrificed earlier is the only time that I had in that day to pour into things beyond what I prioritize as my responsibilities. It’s been my prayer, lately, that we – as believers – would really have our eyes opened to the consequences (and benefits) of our “small” choices, especially our choices with our time!

    • Hey Chris! Thanks so much for commenting! Time management and discernment about that can be so difficult, but it ultimately is so worth it. I’ll be praying that you have discernment and strength!

  • Thanks for encouraging me to write a letter to my great grandma! Even in the midst of studying for finals, when I put my mind to it, I “miraculously” found the time to write to her.

    • Hey Nikki! Yay! That’s awesome!! It’s amazing what can happen when – like you said – we really buckle down and put our minds to it. I’m actually studying for finals right now, too, and I’ve also been amazed to find how much “other stuff” (that I really feel like I needed to do) has been able to get done – even in this particularly hectic time. I’ll be praying your finals go well!

  • Hey Sam! Thanks for commenting! Yeah, distractions seem to come all to easily for me, too, and there’s been some things I’ve really been convicted that need to change – at least for this season – in my life. Way to listen to the Lord, though, and strive to make the changes you feel like He’s calling you to! Hopefully biology will go smoothly – I’ll be praying for that!

  • This is the best post on the Rebelution in the time I have been on part of it!!! (Not very long)
    It just hits home for many people Deborah. 🙂
    There are so many distractions and choices in life you just never seem to find
    time for anything.
    Thank You!

    • Hey Renee! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment! Yes, there are so many options for our time; it is a dangerous privilege. We can be dangerous to the enemy if we latch on to God’s purposes for our time, or we can get caught in a trap of wasting our minutes, days, and lives. The choice is ours!

  • Ouch. I said “I’m too busy” just today. I guess it’s true that we all choose what we think is most important to spend our time on. I can think of a handful of things that I’ve been “too busy for” that really should be higher on my priority list. Thanks for the wake-up call, Deborah!

    • Hey Christina! Yeah, even how I think about things has really been impacted by the concept I explored in my post. This can be helpful in unexpected ways, too! It can definitely make me rethink my priority list, and it can remind me of my purpose when I get discouraged because there’s still things I wish I could also be doing. Once you’ve really solidified your choices, then, when you have the moments of frustration and overwhelmed-ness, you can remember why you are choosing what you do. It’s quite freeing! Thanks so much for commenting!

  • It’s great to hear another teenager say this! This is something that really bugs me about teenage culture in America (perhaps other countries too; I don’t really know). I feel like a lot of us do not have the perspective to realize that we really do have time on our hands. It seems to be that a lot of teenagers feel like they are the most oppressed populations in the nation, which is an attitude that really frustrates me.

    In truth, our teenage years are when the majority of us will have the most freedom and flexibility. I feel it is important not to waste these years especially as they will serve as a foundation for those to come. Though frankly I can’t always figure out how to do that.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Sorry mine are so rambling. 🙂

    • Hey Julia! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts; they sure didn’t seem rambling! I can definitely relate to what you have to say. I often feel that us teenagers (myself included) could use a lot more perspective, and I’ve been praying that God would help us to see reality more clearly. Like you pointed out, too, so much is in our attitudes! I hear you, though, sometimes it can seem difficult to discern which ways are the best ways to use our time, but I’ve personally found that just praying and then taking the next step in confidence allow us to witness and be a part of amazing things! Truly, nothing is quite like trusting God to lead us from there 🙂

By Deborah Spooner
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →