From Rick Siel:
Do you find your joy and sense of purpose in staying busy? Do you have every moment of every day booked with things you feel have to get done and your to-do lists seem to fill up with tasks faster than you can check them off, while the clock keeps ticking? Welcome to the world!
Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We must be intentional about making time to rest in Jesus. Let the phone ring, the chores can wait, and social media could use a break. Those things are not eternal. Jesus is eternal.
A great example of the consequences of busyness is showcased in Luke 10:38–42: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
If we are honest, most of the time we resemble Martha more than Mary. We rush around doing “what needs to be done,” while missing the glimpses of Jesus all around us. As difficult as it is, and as contrary to our culture as it is, we must intentionally make the effort to slow down and model Mary because, as Jesus Himself said, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” We need to make the effort to sit at His feet and enjoy Him rather than miss Him like Martha did because she was fussing over the dishes. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
While most of us seem to know we need to make to incorporate times of quiet and reflection on the Lord’s goodness into our lives, but good intentions often fall short. God’s Word places high value on rest and peaceful living. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He Himself escaped the busyness of the crowds occasionally to renew His strength. Mark 6:31 says, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to [His disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to hear God’s still, quiet voice over the roar of the 21st-century crowds, so, like Jesus; we must make time to rest and hear from our Lord.
I encourage you to ask yourself what you can do to make these times of quiet and reflection a reality. Once you’ve figured that out, make it a priority to step back from “Busyness,” and take time with Him in solitude and the refreshing of our souls. You may not experience a brilliant moment of epiphany that first time you go there, but as you incorporate frequent times of prayer and rest into your walk with the Lord, you can be sure He is working.