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My cranium must be thicker than most, for it took me several years to hear what a friend was saying. "When are you going to slow down?" she would ask me.

"Oh, this is just an unusually busy time," I would say cheerfully. "But it's going to slow down in a couple of months."

Three months later, she would ask again. I'd give the same answer. This continued, like a tv rerun, until I finally got the clue: It's absurd to pretend I've been abnormally busy for five years.

The issue intensified last fall when I flew off a jet-ski going 40 mph and sustained a concussion. Unable to shake the dizziness and nausea, I reluctantly decided to take two weeks away from work to try to recover.

Weak and woozy, I began to pray about this oddly persistent busyness in my life. Was it drivenness? A desire to make a difference for God? A need to find affirmation from others?

Since then, I have discovered that reconstructive surgery of the motivations is more complex, and takes longer, than I'd imagined. But by ...

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