Meet the goddess, Productivity
“The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.” Psalm 16:4
Productivity. I admit it, I worship her. I do it in the name of “service”, and “sacrifice” and even in the name of “Jesus”. But its all a mask, for the real goddess I am serving is Productivity and it is often for the the short-lived feeling of significance and satisfaction. But all it does is bring sorrow.
Sorrow in the body of my weary husband who just needs a greeting, a kiss, and a warm meal. But his wife has been so ardently serving Productivity, that she’s too tired and distracted to lend any.
Sorrow in the eyes of my children as mommy lays into them for doing childish things that threaten and slow Productivity’s service. (like having an accident on the newly mopped bathroom floor)
Sorrow in a mourning momma, as she holds her gangly, sleeping five year old boy and tells his dreaming self that she’s so sorry for the ways she yelled at him and expected too much of him, when all she really wants to do is enjoy him and treasure the cool kid that he is.
The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.
Oswald Chambers writes, ” The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. This work consists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God….An active Christian worker too often lives to be seen by others, while it is the innermost, personal area that reveals the power of a person’s life…In our Lord’s life there was none of the pressure and the rushing of tremendous activity that we regard so highly today, and a disciple is to be like His master. The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others.”
The rushing, the public usefulness, the cramming of a million activities and responsibilities into amounts of time that provide no buffer for skinned knees, peacemaking among bickering, potty accidents, or a hungry husband home for lunch. THESE are signs of idol worship. And the first to be sacrificed on her altar is my family, and my usefulness to THEM as opposed to everyone else.
“Woe to you, Kimberly, you who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance (with coffee, sugar, sheer willpower to push through the fatigue), but not by my Spirit…This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
is your salvation,
in quietness and trust
is your strength
but you would have none of it.
You said, “No, we will flee on horses”…You said, “We will ride off on swift horses!” (Isaiah 30:1,15,16)
We will FLEE the unsettling silence, and the feelings of NOT being productive, we will flee WAITING and having to trust solely in the Mover of Mountains to work. We will flee time constraints, we will flee the monotonous (for the exciting and “significant” service projects).
“Therefore your pursuers will be swift!” (v.16) The pursuer of TIME, and FATIGUE and IMPATIENCE and FAILURE to care for the most important things (i.e. my soul, my husband, my children), and no matter how hard one tries to outrun these pursuers, the will always eventually catch up with you.
Now, at this point, my wise, godly Grandmother would say “Honey, I DO believe, we end up having this conversation about every two months. WHEN will you learn, darling?”
But, that goddess Productivity, she takes so many different forms. She dresses herself in “godly hospitality”, or in “service to the poor”, or in “caring for other’s little ones” or in “homeschooling agenda” or in “keeping a clean house”. And somehow I fall for it every time.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. BLESSED are all those who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! (when you shut the kids in their rooms and lock yourself in your closet and literally cry for help) As soon as he hears, he will answer you….Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:18, 19,21)
So the only combatant against the strong pull to bow and worship, this goddess, Productivity, is in
and quiet and trust
so that I can truly hear my LORD’s voice, over Productivity’s call, saying, “THIS is the way, walk in it.” These promptings will surely lead me into a FULL life, but not one that brings sorrows of sin to myself and those I love dearest.
For the worship of the Living God brings fullness and joy and peace in the midst of the craziness.
while the worship of Productivity brings sorrows, increased, to the point of insanity in the mist of the craziness.
“The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods”