Brooks & Dunn, “God Must Be Busy”

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October 25, 2007

Way back when I was a freshman in college, my theology professor made an observation that still resonates with me today: “If you’ve never had doubt, you don’t really have faith.” This is a song about doubt – not that there actually is a God, but whether he intervenes on the behalf of those petitioning Him. What’s really going on here is the conflict created by free will, as Ronnie Dunn sings a long list of horrible problems being created by men, for the most part, and the frustration that God isn’t stepping in to make sure we make the right choices.

It’s made even more effective by an aside that says if God was listening, “He’d bring you back to me,” which rather than trivializing the much bigger problems mentioned in the song, makes the point that our daily heartaches can feel just as overwhelming as the major ones facing the world – and we can feel just as helpless in the wake of them.

Grade: A

Listen: God Must Be Busy

Buy: God Must Be Busy

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  1. PeterNo Gravatar says:

    I thought the next single was the title track, no?

  2. Kevin, normally we agree, but I’m not loving this song. It reminds me of something else which slips my mind at the moment. My current song of choice is the Reba/Justin duet. Love their harmonies.

  3. MelissaNo Gravatar says:

    GREAT GREAT song. I heard it on my way into work and it just floored me. It really makes you stop and think! I had to get the CD — the song grows on you more everytime you hear it. The vocals are gorgeous and full of emotion.

    Your analysis is great about doubt/trivalizing. Thank You!!!!!

  4. Cowboy Blue says:

    Wow….this is powerful stuff. When B&D get emotional they really get into it. This song, if it’s not to bold to say, rivals Believe as their most powerful song to date.

  5. StefanieNo Gravatar says:

    This song gives me goosebumps……herd it for the first time on the CMA awards!

  6. StefanieNo Gravatar says:

    This song gave me goosebumps the very first time I heard it on the CMA awards! I’m a new fan!

  7. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    What a very strong song and when you listen to it very closely, it becomes a part of your life. It is one of those songs that speaks directly to you. Thanks B&D for a song that we need to remind us of what we have and to never take life for granted.

  8. LeeannNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you, Kevin, regarding your comments on this song. However, I take this song on another level as well. I think that it seems that the person in this song acknowledges that there is a lot going on in the world that God has to address. I don’t think that the singer is doubting that God does address the world’s problems in his own way, but rather worries that his problem may seem insignificant to God, who is so busy, compared to the huge problems in the world. I think the phrase “God must be busy” might mean that with all of the horrific problems in the world, God must be really busy, therefore, too busy to attend to his, the singer’s, problems. At any rate, Ronnie delivers a powerful performance. I’ve always loved Ronnie’s voice, even if I haven’t loved all of B&D’s songs in general, though I have enjoyed many.

  9. Kent says:

    After Brooks & Dunn’s last single, it’s nice to hear something great. Ronnie’s voice is packed with emotion, and this song can make you stop what you’re doing to just sit and listen. Believe was an excellent single too, but God Must Be Busy actually has a good tune, unlike Believe. The Grade A suits this well.

  10. Peter KohanNo Gravatar says:

    I’m going to take a different path than most here. I acknowledge that this is a beautiful melody sung magnificently by Ronnie. Solid production.

    If one believes in free will, then it’s not God that one should be appealing to, but one’s fellow man to make for themselves a more moral and just world. God will take care of you once you’re gone and judge you for the life you lived. The protagonist of the song makes me feel like all of the good and the bad of the world is God-directed, that there is no element of active human choice, or at least that he was wishing for more divine intervention, as opposed to us mucking up the world on our own. Any time you bring God into the picture people who believe differently are going to react differently, whether you believe in a different religion completely, or even different sect or denomination, or just have a different personal experience. So it’s the rare song invoking God’s name that you’ll find everyone agreeing on.

    For that reason I’d give it a “B+” rather than an “A.” Regardless of what I think about the lyrical message to hear Ronnie sing this beautifully is a complete pleasure.

  11. Loraine WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    When I first heard the beginning of this song, I thought Ronnie was saying that God Must Be Busy because of all the hurt in the world. Then when he said it again about not getting his girl, I realized he meant God was too busy to bother with us mere mortals. I really do not care how he meant it because he acknowledges that there is a God and He is actively fighting the enemy. I just hope Ronnie doesn’t think his problem is too small for God to care about because we serve a big God who has time for all of us little guys. I should know as I am a 4 time cancer survivor and sometimes I had doubts; sometimes I didn’t. We are all just humans. I think C.S. Lewis got it right when he said: “It’s not that we don’t have the faith that God will take care of us; it’s that we are afraid that His answer might cause us pain”. Great song.

  12. Doug WellerNo Gravatar says:

    A god too busy is not omnipotent.

  13. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Leann in that the song isn’t saying that God is too busy or is to blame for all the wrong in the world, but rather its more of a realization, like, Wow, God must really be busy. The list of things in the song brings our attention to all wrong in the world, and then when he says “or He’d bring you back to me”, I feel that he’s accepting that maybe his personal problem isn’t the biggest issue at the moment even though it may be for him. An old song from Garth Brooks comes into my mind; “some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. Maybe God isn’t bringing her back because the singer is better off without her.

    I disagree with Peter. God created a perfect world. Our free will corrupted it and is still corrupting it. So please do tell, how can applealing to the ones who make the world corrupt bring about any kind of solution? Only our applealing to God through prayer can bring about any kind of solution.

  14. JenNo Gravatar says:

    I heard something even a little different in this song. After Ronnie cites a barage of daily horrors and tribluations of human life – such as the same atrocities we hear every noght on the evening news.

    I heard sarcasm here. Like, yeah people, your God must be busy…because if there was a loving God like we hope exists…wouldn’t he do something about some of these things? I inferred that he is questioning the overall existence of God. I also heard deep sadness that we humans are left to sort out these things with no evident divine intervention. Just one take. I enjoyed hearing all the other opinions and theories of others on this site too!

  15. Leeann says:

    Jen, I’m guilty of being a cynic, but I don’t get that from this song at all. I think there are several valid interpretations for this song, but yours seems to be going too far.

  16. Jane says:

    A song is like a painting. Different folks will perceive it differently. I think it’s a beautifully written song and a sad song. Since I do not believe in a supernatural being who can intentionally intervene, I feel a real compassion for those who put so much hope and trust in a supernatural parent who seems too busy to attend to her children.

  17. RebeccaNo Gravatar says:

    This is one of the most powerful songs, that I have heard. This song really makes you stop and think of that we have and we never say thank you for.

  18. RonNo Gravatar says:

    Peter, let’s hope God doesn’t judge us for thel lives we lead here on earth. If He does, we’re all in trouble. None of us are good enough to please God. God is not responsible for the evils of this world. We are. We’re sinfull. He isn’t. This is a nice song, but it’s theology is skewed.

  19. JamesNo Gravatar says:

    Jen has the most accurate take on this song so far. Heard it for the first time tonight, and I found the lyrics full of sarcasm. While Brooks & Dunn has every right to record a song with this message, I hope that believers will hear the song and realize that their faith is being mocked. Not a swift marketing move on B&D’s part when you consider the percentage of Christians in the Country music fanbase. My family won’t be buying any more Brooks & Dunn CD’s.

  20. Stephen H.No Gravatar says:

    So does that mean they were completely insincere when they recorded “Believe”, James?

  21. Sharon S. says:

    Wow! I’m coming late to this song and its video but it has completely captivated me because I have felt this for more years than most of you are probably old. I expressed virtually the same sentiments many times to ministers and psychiatrists and friends . . . that, in comparison to the needs of so many people in this world, what I pray for seems so trivial.

    God must be busy . . . When I see two little boys in Africa, who are all each other has, who sleep on the floor and are, at 12 and 11, responsible for their own survival . . . how can I, with a real roof over my head, in an air conditioned home with a refrigerator full of food, in a place called the United States, think that whatever I need from God is more important than those two children? I have been laid off four times since June, without insurance, had to declare bankruptcy which makes getting a job in this age of checking credit reports even more difficult, nearing retirement age with no savings or IRAs to fall back on. Even though depression has set in and I have a deep religious faith, it is hard for me to pray for a job when I know . . .

    God must be busy . . . with those two little boys . . . with many Americans who have no insurance or money to buy medicines to cure their cancer . . . just like the song says.

    Daniels and Heeney have totally read my heart. As Michael says above, the song is very simple. Forget the sarcasm and the deep philosophical meanings. In the grand scheme of things and recognizing that God is the One who can answer the needs of so many people, returning a lost love is a trivial request. Having felt that many times in my life, I can only smile that the man whose thoughts this song is expressing is a loving, empathetic person and Brooks and Dunn are the PERFECT ones to give him voice!

  22. CindyNo Gravatar says:

    Sharon S., I understand that you feel there are people out there that may need more from God than you do, but God is big enough to handle ALL requests. The Bible says that no matter how big or how little ask for it. Your requests are important to God, but He only answers the prayers that will take us to the path He has for us which may be totally different than the path we are trying to get to. As for the song, I came to this site hoping to prove my theory wrong. When I first heard this song I took it as the singer was saying that God is too busy to handle these problems and it really bothered me that some people think that way. Even after reading all the comments here I am not sure what this song is really saying, but I believe that the troubles in the world are not because God is too busy, but because of all the non-believers out there. God will protect those who believe and have faith. Believing doesn’t always mean that you will get your dream fulfilled, but that God’s dream for you will be fulfilled. So, don’t resist what He has for you. It will be much better than anything you have ever dreamed for.

  23. KariNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t appreciate this song at all. Even incentuating that God is too busy for us is completely wrong. God is not responsible for the evil in the world. Our own free will has created it. Also, if you read the bible it makes it very clear that we are to go through many trials and tribulations before reaching our eternal destination. Life on earth was not meant to be easy. God wants us to depend on him through these tough times. He is not concerned with emergency response but he is concerned with our personal growth as a christian and into a better relationship with him. This is made very clear in the bible. People in the world want to use this type of a song as an excuse not to believe in God. Sad thing is….they don’t know what they are missing out on. God is there for us but not for our own selfish reasons. His plan is the perfect plan.

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