How Busyness Distracts Us From the Big Questions

In his book Apatheism: How We Share When They Don’t Care, author Kyle Beshers says that technology isn’t the only thing distracting people from asking the big questions. He says the following:

“Alan Noble woke me up to this crisis of distraction in our secular age. In Disruptive Witness, he argued that the persistent distraction of our culture prevents us from asking the deepest, most important questions about existence and truth. The things that prick our souls for the sake of the gospel (e.g., death, beauty, anxiety, etc.) can be numbed quickly by an eight-hour dose of binge-watching The Office. We effortlessly avoid asking the biggest, most difficult questions of life because we are so busy. This is especially true in America, where we find personal value in what we produce. The more things we can do in a day, the more valuable we feel. Technology gives us thousands of tasks to accomplish, from replying to emails to playing mobile games. With every click of the send button and point earned toward the next level, we feel like we’re making real progress toward some actual goal.

But technology alone is not driving our busyness. There is something hidden deep in my response of “busy” to the question “How are you?” I am doing more than I should because I want to feel like I am valuable. Our culture promotes a relentless drive to achieve the American dream by making improvements that lead to accomplishments. The best of us are always killing it at work because we equate who we are with what we do. We are busy being, not merely doing.

To be busy communicates importance. To be accomplished means we are needed. And we think that to be important and needed brings us happiness, so happiness is ultimately found in what we do. Happiness, like truth, is manufactured. Our whole identities become wrapped up in what we do. This is why the first question we ask strangers at parties is, “What do you do for a living?” We’re gauging one another’s value and worth, whether we know it or not. If God cannot help us rank up in our careers or social statuses, then he is irrelevant to our pursuit of fullness through doing. In this distracted world, God isn’t merely unneeded, he’s unnoticed. There simply isn’t time to think about something that we doubt exists, is too diverse in options, and doesn’t seem necessary.”- pg 37-38.

Uncategorized