Everyone has had that awkward run in at the grocery store. You don’t know exactly what to say to that acquaintance, so you go to the default question:
— Hey there!
— Hey! Staying busy?
In our 2017 culture, we have exalted busyness. Schedule is almost the first thing we ask or answer with when speaking with our friends. It’s almost like having a full calendar or not being able to put your cell phone down are markers of success. Pay attention when large groups of people are gathered — we are not speaking to one another, we’re on our phones. There’s forever one more email to answer, another voicemail to return, or that dentist appointment that needs to be rescheduled.
In Jesus’ ministry, I have yet to find a time where He appeared to be in a hurry. In fact, many times it was the exact opposite. Jesus took time with people that others ignored — relationship was and is paramount to Him. Jesus valued children. He had a heart for the unlovely. He treated the sick and poor with dignity.
While His disciples were encouraging Him to stay on task, Jesus would do something that would be weird to them. For example, Jesus feeds the 5,000. This was an epic miracle. There were many people that probably wanted to spend time with Jesus after seeing a display of power like that. But we read:
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
—Matthew 14:22-23 (NLT)
Even Jesus, at the height of earthly notoriety, needed to recharge with God. He gave us the example over and over again that relationship with God supersedes earthly busyness. That connection with God fueled Him to connect with other people.
How can we share the love of Jesus Christ with others if we aren’t connecting with Him ourselves? How can we then share God’s love if we are too busy to look into the eyes of our family, friends, and neighbors?
In Psalm 62, David writes:
Truly my soul finds rest in God.
— Psalm 62:1a (NIV)
Today, I dare you to cut the busyness and prioritize relationship.