Introverted Small Talk and God’s Happy Place

As an introvert, brief, casual conversation is absolutely excruciating to me. I try really hard, but there is just no getting around this. So I find little ways to make this kind of conversation easier on me. Since I have been working at my new job (and this kind of conversation comes up all the time) I have come up with a new go-to question:

So, are you guys busy?

This is not original to me, I actually acquired it from other people who come into the office. (Apparently there are other introverts out there who don’t like to make conversation either.) This is the mantra of small talk around here. My guess is you have probably had similar experiences:

“How’s it going?” “Good. Busy, but good.”

“Sorry I missed that (…am late…forgot…), we have just been so busy.”

“How are the kids? How is work? How is church?” Busy. Busy. Busy.

Busyness makes me look important. If I can claim I am busy, then obviously my life carries with it some semblance of value and worth. I am busy, therefore I am.

But have you ever been really impressed with someone who was really busy?

Are you impressed when someone you love is on their phone more than they are paying attention to you? Or when they are gone frequently due to busyness? Are you impressed with the person who always seems like she has other irons in the fire and would rather be dealing with them?

The people I want to be around are the ones who don’t check their phone or take calls while I am with them. They are the people who don’t seem hurried or like there are more important or more desirable places to be. They are the people who just are.

Probably because I am missing those things in my own life.

I often let busyness define me or determine the course of my day.

Except for one area: I am in three night classes right now, so I don’t see my kids as much as I am used to (see how busy I am – aren’t you impressed?). So when I am home, I try to let time slow down. I want nothing else to distract me because my greatest desire is to just hold them.

I’ll wrestle with my three-year-old just to be able to be close. I’ll let him watch a little extra TV if it means he will snuggle with me awhile. I’ll hold my 6-month-old as I do menial tasks. All I want to do is just sit and be with them. I ache for this, especially on my long days.

I always tell them that when it is just the three of us snuggling on the couch, I am in my happy place. There are no tasks to be performed and there is nothing my children need to do to impress me. I am just glad they exist. So I pull them close.

Ian Morgan Cron pointed out that this is the essence of spiritual practices of silence and meditation. Silence and meditation draw us close to God’s happy place.

I am.

And that is what makes God happy.

No tasks to perform, no need to impress. He is glad we exist, so He just wants to hold us. It is the cure to our busyness problem.

Because when I begin to believe my existence is what gives me worth and value to God, I stop going to other places to get my importance. And that includes (perhaps most importantly) my busyness.

So this week I challenge you to waste some time with God. Go for a walk. Go hide in the bathroom at work for a half hour. Just be alone and allow him to pull you close.

You are.

And that is what makes God happy.

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