Are you busy? Silly question, right? Who isn’t?
Everybody seems to be racing from one place to another and scrambling to get the next thing on their to-do list checked off. And, really, that isn’t all bad. From work to responsibilities at home, I’m sure the activities that fill most people’s days are pretty important.
But even good things can have their drawbacks.
Ever read your kids a bedtime story when your mind is still at work? You’ll skip over pages, and you probably won’t get the animals’ voices just right. My kids used to notice, and yours will too. Or ever try to “be there” for your spouse as they talk about their especially hard day when you know you’re missing your favorite show or sports team on TV? Trust me, they’ll notice.
It’s easy for our minds to be so focused on “all those other things” we want or need to do that we miss some pretty important opportunities right in front of us.
Like, say, people.
That’s one thing that jumps out at me as I read the Scriptures: Jesus knew how to separate the mundane from the more vital, relational moments of His day. At the home of Martha and Mary, for example, Jesus witnessed one sister consumed with the demands of the moment, while the other hung on His every word.
But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her’ (Luke 10:41-42, ESV).
I think we’re all like Martha sometimes, blurring the lines between our to-do list and our everyday relationships. For our Lord, however, people time was never an inconvenience, but an opportunity to connect and engage them at their point of need.
That’s a core truth I’m learning to come back to time and time again. I love engaging people, but with my responsibilities at work, home, and elsewhere constantly clamoring for my time, I’m probably not “in the moment” with the person right in front of me as much as I ought to be. That’s why I try to remember that a listening ear or a simple word of encouragement are often all it takes to make a big difference.
How about you? Do you sometimes see the grocery clerk, the chatty neighbor, the restaurant server, or even family members as an inconvenience? Or are you open and available for God to use you as a divine appointment in their lives?