I experience a collide between the bustling demands of this life and quietness and stillness needed to nurture my spiritual walk. It truly is a balancing act, but being able to balance these two worlds is essential for the spirit inside me-the spirit in which God contacts and converses with. That spirit craves direction, replenishment, and the peace that is promised when I center and base my life on the things of God. Unfortunately I’ve felt that spirit suffer when I over commit myself and over occupy myself.
These thoughts and realizations have led me to seek out what God has to say about being too busy.-what he says about allowing this ever-evolving, ever increasingly, instantaneous society consume the majority of my time and attention. I’ve noticed that some of us, we have this mentality to fit in as much as we can in a day. I’ve also noticed things that we are supposed to thrive off of- food, family and relationships and rest-have become less wholesome, and have taken a backseat to the others things in this life.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we are just busy, and there is simply nothing we can do about that. After all, we are the hands and feet of God’s work here on earth-in Genesis we are called his helpers. But there is a time for these things, there is a time under the sun for all things-they have their allotted time of the day and season of the year (Ecclesiastes 3:1-22). However, being too busy can cause us to miss important lessons God is trying to teach us.
In the book of Luke, Jesus takes his disciples to a lady named Martha’s home. Martha had a sister there who insisted on sitting at Jesus’ feet and listen to his teachings while Martha busily prepared a big dinner. The word used is “distracted”- that Martha was distracted by the preparations for this dinner, therefore she wasn’t hearing the teaching. Martha goes on to ask Jesus if it is unfair that she does all the work, while Mary, her sister just “sits” there, not helping at all, then asking Jesus to tell Mary to come help her. Jesus’ response is so revealing to me. Jesus says lovingly, “my dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38-41). A couple of things stand out to me. One being that Martha was not doing anything wrong, she was preparing dinner and occupied with something that she does day in and day out. However she let this chore consume all her attention, that she became distracted to the point in which she couldn’t recognize what in those moments was most important. Jesus was literally trying to talk to her-to teach her something-to provide a stretch of refreshment and wisdom, but Martha was so preoccupied with her own doings, that she missed the teaching. Not only did she miss the teaching she was deflecting her frustrations of being busy on her sister, suggesting Mary was in the wrong for not doing enough.
I don’t think the story needs much more interpretation for what I am trying to illustrate. God will allow you to over work and over commit yourself-but you could miss what he is trying to teach you in the midst of it all. Getting caught up in the rush of life-the undercurrent of this rush- can easily drown out the voice of God. Throughout the new testament Jesus routinely slips away from the loud crowds to renew himself through prayer and the word of God. We need that same renewal. This is what creates the balance in life. This renewal doesn’t only refresh our spirits, but it equips us to deal with the demands of this life. Scripture is filled with the description of God’s word being our source of strength and revitalization.
My family, my home, me- and my spirit at peace-I declare these should be things that get the best of me. I have been Martha before, but I don’t want to be Martha. I do not want to conform to this world by taking a seat on the speedy busy bus. Instead I want to be available, led by the spirit-Jesus’ voice. It is then we learn what is of importance in God’s plan. It is then we learn the will of God. (Romans 12:2)