"WHEN YOU KILL TIME, REMEMBER THAT IT HAS NO RESURRECTION."
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “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.”
I want you to imagine that Jesus was coming to your house. How upset would you be if you were preparing the meal, setting up the table, and noticing your brother or sister, just chatting away with Jesus? I mean, this is Jesus we're talking about! Who wouldn't want to prepare the best meal on the planet? Who wouldn't break out the best China moeny could buy? The problem is...like Martha, we would be missing the whole point. If Jesus came to visit, he wouldn't be interested in what meal you had prepared for him, or how expensive the plates or silverware was, he would be interested in you.
As Craig Groeschel, the author of Weird, points out, "most of us are living at a pace that is not only unsustainable; it's unbiblical." For many of us, the schedules we impose on ourselves-the things that we commit to or add on a whim are consuming us...sapping the very energy we need. And it begs the question...are we really enjoying life?
You see, the issue isn't that we need more time, the issue is that we need to utilize the time we already have. Craig points out that we need to be honest with ourselves when it comes to our time because obviously we have enough time for what we choose to invest our time in. The idea that we don't have enough time to work out, read the Bible, go to church or youth group is because we consider these as mere things added to our list and it just isn't a priority. In fact he says: "Tell yourself the truth: either it's not a priority and you're guarding your time for good reason, or you simply aren't willing to choose to spend your time on it."
You see the issue becomes what we consider important-our true priorities. Just like Mary and Martha, we are presented with opportunities each day, but each opportunity can be read differently. I mean when was the last time you stopped what you were doing and embraced the moment-were truly present? Mary embraced the moment, but Martha like so many of us was distracted, preoccupied, and busy.
Now, that's not to say that our 'distractions' are all bad things, Martha meant well, but we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that being busy helps us get further in life. It's not true, it can lead to burn out. "If the devil can't make us really bad, then he'll try to make us really busy". The truth is that sometimes what is most important isn't always what seems most urgent.
This book, which I can't seem to put down, is written in a way that we can all relate. We know what we think is 'normal' by our standards but sometimes 'normal' isn't right. As Craig puts it: "too often our desire to fit in, to belong, to conform and be considered normal eclipes our desire to follow God and do what's best. We choose popular standards instead of habits that lead to holiness."
If we call ourselves Christians we're not supposed to be like everyone else. As it says in Romans 12:2, we are to "let God transform us into a new person by changing the way that we think". We usually think that being busy is a sign of importance, but we have to realize that just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. Or, how Craig puts it: "Instead of soccer practice and guitar lessons, you can pick soccer OR guitar."
In truth, what do you have to show for all your busyness, competitions, trophies, ribbons, pictures, and lack of attendance at school or church? I mean why complain about being so busy and do nothing about it? If we are so tired and burdened by our commitments, obligations, tasks, homework, and responsibilities then it's time that we make a change. Because if we're honest, we would admit that we're doing this to ourselves. That we have decided that other things take priority over God and my spiritual development.
My challenge is that you would evaluate your schedule-what is it that you do each day that is important? You may be a student-whether it's in college or high school, you may even have a job or a family to provide for. Whatever it is...honestly ask yourself if you're distracted by doing too many 'good things' vs. what is best and most important.
My next blog will be about being present...not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.