What Keeps Me Busy

2 March, 2012 § 3 Comments

St. Augustine of Hippo as pictured during the ...

“It was not, Lord, that I lacked mind or memory, for You had given me as much of these as my age required; but the one thing I revelled in was play; and for this I was punished by men who after all were doing exactly the same things themselves. But the idling of men is called business; the idling of boys, though exactly like, is punished by those same men: and no one pities either boys or men.”  -Augustine of Hippo Confessions. Book 1 chapter 9

 As a North American, my life is characterized by what I do—what keeps me busy, my business. Right now I’m in the business of going to school, not (as I am often reminded) a lucrative business, but it’s my business none the less. Augustine describes the idleness of men to be their business. If the idleness of men is their business and education is my business, is education an idle pursuit? I’m not sure. In the meantime I have nearly finished idling and will then have to decide on where we will go next.

Since leaving Facebook three weeks ago, it’s like we’ve woken up to our lives, and have started doing something about it. We started a Bible study in the book of James that same night and this past week switched to Wednesday nights. It’s encouraging to   fellowship with the other couple of believers who attend. Our business intertwines at this degree and it’s fulfilling to input into another believer’s life.

We’re still in the calming down stage to be honest. We jump at alarms we scare at surprises. We just want life to be simpler than what it is. We’ve quieted down our conversations, now I think it’s time we quieted down our involvement all together.


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§ 3 Responses to What Keeps Me Busy

  • Ben Bacon says:

    Augustine is a good read not exclusively for content but for his unflinching honesty regarding himself. I think there’s a balance between identifying yourself by what you do and calling it an idle pursuit. Augustine reveled in play. Other men reveled in work. Perhaps the medium (as far as Christians are concerned) is to set our affections on and revel in Christ.
    You lost me a little bit in the last paragraph – what was its purpose and how does it relate to the Augustine quote (if it does)?

    • Daniel Bacon says:

      Perhaps there is a balance, but I’m trying to move away from finding my value and purpose in what keeps me busy. That is the point.
      In the question of what is business and what is idleness and if they are one in the same; the last paragraph is about separating ourselves from the things that distract us from living an intentional and focused life.

      • Ben Bacon says:

        I’d love to hear what you’ll be doing to obtain that more intentional life. I find my own very noisy but leaving Facebook is not an option I’m willing to consider for two reasons: First, I have a good chunk of my ministry and job via Facebook. Second, that’s the only way Amanda and I can share about Noah with family real-time.

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