That’s an easy response when someone asks how I am. But that’s not really a defining response.

No, we throw that around as a banner. Telling everyone just how busy we are, full schedules, running here and there, don’t have time to talk so we text short blurbs. Life coming in 140 characters all throughout the day and into the night.

We choose the life we live. We do. So many say they don’t have a choice in what’s been given them or they don’t have a say in how their life is lived. But that’s just not the case.

Reason being?

He gave us free will. We have the choice in our jobs, whether we have that job or not. Does that mean you don’t live as comfortably as you have gotten used to? Sure. But again, that’s a choice you make.

I wrestled with this thought for a very long time, as I myself talk about how busy I am. I wear it as a badge, using an excuse to not do other things because I am just too busy. Lately though I have been making the choice in how busyness affects my life. That also means how it affects my health, my spending and my mind.

Busyness has a trickle down effect that we often don’t see until we are hanging on by a thread, little sleep and nerves frayed. Over the last few weeks I have been intentional about the choices I have made, to spend time with the people I say matter…to take time to listen rather than talk about my schedule. To intentionally put my free time into the things I desire to pursue. To choose community and people over schedules and hurriedness.

Quickly I am finding that my free will choices become much more filling when I am choosing things that do not drain me, that don’t just add something to a block of my time but it adds life.

I don’t want to miss something in the busyness of life that may not slide by again. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to be His hands and feet to someone simply because I have this appointment on my calendar. I don’t want to rush through life simply to look back, with a few more pounds and a lot less fulfillment simply because I didn’t take a few beats to be intentional about what gets on my calendar (and what doesn’t).

That also means rest. Not laziness, but true rest. Which means on the weekends I am not checking emails as often, that I am not on my phone at dinner with friends, and I am most certainly engaging in active recognition of Him in every part of my life. It means that I am making decisions in order to give Him the firstfruits in my all life (work, play, community, rest). I choose that. I get that choice regardless of what others may believe about themselves, as we have that choice.

We have to be intentional about the choices and continue to focus on making them to reinforce it into a habit of our own making that lends to a healthier life, both spiritually and emotionally.

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