Practical Suicide

Got your attention?

I’m reading this amazing book … The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanon.

Do you ever have a book you KNOW you are supposed to be reading … RIGHT NOW?   This is that book for me.

Scott bought Buchanon’s book for me for Christmas and I added it to the large stack of books I received.

In January, I was reading (again) One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and noticed a few quotes that resonated within me … guess where they were from?  Yep, the very book my husband had tucked into my stocking.   A few weeks later,  I was reading the comments on a blog post about stress and ministry … a fellow commenter mentioned this book.

Being the astute observer that I am, I understood the Lord was telling me something.  After all, I had determined my word for this year would be simple … simplicity.   And part of my desire in that was to slow, to be still.   Certainly, learning the habit of Sabbath was a key part of that longing.

I have been slowly reading, stopping to ponder, allowing the wisdom of this tome to sink deep into my spirit.  A couple of weeks ago in this book I now cherish, I read this:

The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness:  heart and killing.  That is stunningly incisive.  The heart is the place the busy life exacts its steepest toll. (45)

Oh I knew that stress is physically dangerous … that failing to allow margin would exact a price on our bodies.  I even recognized the effects busyness has on my mood, my emotions, my attitude and my spirit.   But this picture … a blending of heart and killing.   Busyness is suicide.

It’s a slow sucking of life … a gradual process of draining the abundance into the emptiness.   It’s the opposite of eucharisteo.  And we do it all. the. time.   Practical suicide … We take the knife of expectation and slice it over the wrist of grace.   We take the gun of keeping up and point it to the forehead of relationships.   We take the pills of success and schedule and swallow them with the dirty water of insecurity and hidden masks … and we are left empty, drained, dead women walking.

I’m guilty of wielding that knife, pointing that gun, and grasping for those pills … and the ugly death pours out of me.  Words I cannot erase, moments I cannot get back.

And yet, Buchanon, writes,

Thankfulness is a secret passageway into a room you can’t find any other way. (67)

And so, the antidote to this suicide is not doing more or less things it is saying more thanks, recognizing more blessings … it is the counting of the one thousand gifts and beyond.

{#128 – 140}

Counting to LIVE,

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I read this earlier today, but needed to come back to it and really READ it and let it sink in.
    “It’s a slow sucking of life … a gradual process of draining the abundance into the emptiness.” Very powerful words. Such truth. If we could just get a hold of them and really understand them, our lives would be so different.

  2. What a timely post! I just lost a dear friend/father figure to cancer yesterday. I have been struck by how often we get caught up in daily busyness and miss out on spending time with those we love. I know that when I get busy (and I have two boys 2 and under), I get so drained. What a profound quote about the chinese characters. Thank you for posting.

  3. I have been mulling this around all day. You are right! And even though we often know this instinctively, busyness has become fashionable – almost a badge of honor. We lament our busyness in small talk, hoping for sympathy from others. Yet we refuse to take responsibility for the choices we make that get us to the place of busyness. As best I can figure, busyness (as a lifestyle) is a modern symptom of pride. A control thing, perhaps? Or keeping up with the Jones’? Whatever it may be, it is indeed a heart killer. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Teri Lynne:
    Thank you for this reminder to stop and rest. I downloaded the ebook of The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Thank you for suggesting it. I can’t wait to hear the Lord speak through this book. Lately, I’ve been busy being busy and it’s time to rest, refresh and refuel.


  1. […] posted late yesterday … but I do hope you had a chance to read my thoughts on Practical Suicide.   From that post: Busyness is […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge