How does one find fulfillment in a culture that boasts of schedules being filled?
It is the same conversation every week, sometimes multiple times, and with multiple people, but it all boils down to the same thing.They ask how you’ve been, and next thing you know, the same answer is returned:
“Oh, you know, keeping busy.”
Busy. Sometimes we can flaunt the word, like it adds some measure of importance for being in demand in some way. Or maybe like the more full our schedule is, the more purpose we must carry, as if our value is based on what we have to offer out of ourselves. Dear one, living out of this mindset will quickly bankrupt you.
Maybe you can relate. I am a high-capacity type of person. I don’t sit still very well. I love to have something to do or somewhere to be, and I don’t want to waste even a moment if I can avoid it. But something I’ve learned over time is that a full schedule does not necessarily equate to a full spirit.
Busy will take your time, and may or may not give it back.
Busy will divide your attention, and distract from your dream.
Busy will come dressed as purpose or productivity, but end up being an impostor.
Busy will leave you trapped in a revolving door kind of life – always moving, but not going anywhere.
What if we stopped filling our schedules in efforts to fill our spirits?
What if we stopped trying to be fulfilled by everything we do, and started living out of being filled?
The story in Luke 10:38-41 is well-known. But today, I want to challenge you to read it slowly and take the time to really comprehend what you are reading. We do so much on auto-pilot these days and tend to skip over things that are familiar or that we think we know all in an effort, conscious or unconscious, to get more done. But today, I want to challenge you to be unrushed in this moment.
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their journey, they came to a village where a woman welcomed Jesus into her home. Her name was Martha and she had a sister named Mary. Mary sat down attentively before the Master, absorbing every revelation he shared. But Martha became exasperated by finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests, so she interrupted Jesus and said, ‘Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.’ The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, my beloved Martha Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.’” Luke 10:38-41 (TPT)
As someone who is task oriented, I understand Martha’s point of view. There is much to do and Mary is just sitting there. At the same time, on reading more slowly, I considered that it wasn’t about the laundry list that Martha was working through. The things she was doing were good things, but in that moment, it wasn’t the best thing. Those good things were a distraction. How often are we pulled away by many distractions? How important are they really? What if we chose to be undistracted and unrushed, sitting at the feet of Jesus? It wasn’t that Martha’s list was a bad thing, but in that moment, it was a case of good vs. the best. Sometimes, it is the good things that keep us from the best things.
Not long ago, I sat on the hood of my car at the edge of a Starbucks parking lot overlooking the highway and with a view of the sky that was worth taking a moment to appreciate the colors from the sunset fading into the night. Sitting there wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I ventured out, but I found it to be what I needed. In our day-to-day, we have lost the art of being quiet, unrushed, and just taking the time. Sitting there, just being, it occurred to me as I watched the planes come in to land at the airport nearby, how much I longed to be on one and going somewhere. I crave adventure and so desire to explore something new, but I don’t want to go somewhere just to go somewhere. It isn’t necessarily for the sake of doing something or being busy, it is in the adventure that I’m unrushed, and where I take the time to just be and take everything in – it is in the adventure that I quiet my spirit and myself. I’m unrushed, undone, and I’m listening. I yearn to wander, and see, and explore, and experience. And in those moments, I prayed “unrush me, Lord.”
The kids are going back to school and schedules are soon to be filling quickly. I want to challenge you to make it a priority to be undistracted, and take the time to be unrushed. Maybe you have five or ten minutes – take it, and don’t hurry, but take the time to be and to absorb every revelation that God will give you. Live out of being filled, instead of trying to be fulfilled in what you do.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5