It seems that no matter how long you live, life just seems to stay busy. Think about it. We want to get done with all of our obligations so that we can actually sit and do nothing. But then when we have nothing planned, we find ourselves right back in the “I need something to do” line to satisfy our need to be busy.
Although no one would actually say, “I really need more to do.” We do say this by the way we commit ourselves in so many ways. I know what you might be thinking, “Aren’t we supposed to be committed and busy?” After all, the bible teaches that if a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat. Yes, it’s good to work, be productive and helpful and to make good use of our time and not to be idle. But there is a fine line between being busy and being productive.
I’ll take just a minute to define the two and what the scriptures teach about the life of a believer in this regard. Always having our lives filled with events, scheduled times and commitments is not necessarily a good thing. Even if this filling is spiritual in nature. For example, if you are at a ‘church’ related event four nights per week and then on the weekend you spend all day Saturday planning your bible lesson for Sunday school, how do you find time to listen to God? How do you know His will for your life? Have you enjoyed the smile of your spouse or children? How many people have you taken time to pray for and get to know outside of your commitments?
If you really think about it, the more we have to do, the less God can do with us. Consider for just a moment how you should be living your life. Think about all the things you ‘do’ on a weekly basis. Now ask yourself, “Which of these things are making a direct difference in the life of someone for Christ?” and “Which of these things are teaching me to be closer to Christ and know Him more?”
The funny thing is that several years ago, I found myself in this same corner, looking around trying to discern where my life was actually going and if it was fruitful at all. I found that I had so much to do , that I had no time for God’s calling to minister to people and effectively disciple them in Christ. My ‘ministry’ even became a ‘job’ to get finished with so that I might have time to just rest.
When our lives are so busy that adding relationships are a strain, we need to think about Jesus’ teaching on this matter. So many times you’ll hear people tell you that you ‘must’ do something because it’s URGENT. How long are we going to live under the URGENT while we ignore God’s direction in our lives?
Productivity is only productive when you are accomplishing your goals. So, what are your goals for life? Are they to be busy, grow old and die with things still left to finalize? Or is your life centered around what God desires of you and how He can use you to share Christ with the world around you?
Jesus gives us a great example that we cannot place the URGENT before the immediate. In other words, we place so much emphasis on getting the goals and commitments finalized that we overlook or don’t have time for those things or people that are right in front of us. The argument that we have to ‘overlook’ God’s call for the greater good is a weak one in this example. When Jesus stopped, people died. Read this section of Mark chapter 5.
Mark 5:22-43 (ESV)
22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet
23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”
24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.
25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,
26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.
29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Jarius was a very important man in society and the sickness of his daughter was a very important issue to Jesus. However, along the way when this poor woman touched Jesus’ garment, he had no reason to stop. She didn’t need him to take time for her but he did. Jesus stopped to minister to the needs of this poor ‘nobody’ in society and as a result the daughter of a very important man died.
In our society, anyone who got in our way with any need on the way to Jarius’ home would have been told to hold on and we’ll talk later. Sadly, when we are too busy with life, this is exactly the message we send. As the father of four children, I have to be careful not to push their little needs off for even a minute or the more important needs of their future will come and go without my concern. Even worse, they might even stop depending on ‘daddy’ to be there. As a reflection of Christ our my home, life, job, school and community are we showing the lost world and our family that we have peace and time for those around us or are we showing them that we are so busy, that God’s ministry doesn’t even matter?
Take time today to make a mental list of your commitments. Scripture teaches us that we can only have one master. Is it Christ or our life goals that are placed on the front lines each day? Ask yourself, “What in my life does Christ need me to stop doing?” Be fruitful in Christ and do all things for His glory. Let’s be available for God’s calling and ministry in us and through us to a lost and hurting world.
Being Wise and More Stupid,