Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

9.23.2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?


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The room is empty, so let’s take a peek around. The bed is unmade and rumpled; a half-drunk mug of coffee sits on the dresser. There’s a stack of books on the nightstand, all excellent volumes. A biography, a manual on macrame, a textbook—at the bottom of the stack is a Bible. The alarm clock next to the books is set to an early hour. A calendar with a spray of pink roses on it hangs from the wall. Half the dates are furiously circled in red pen, and most days have several scrawlings in the tiny squares.

The portrait of a busy life is what I place before you, and with that in mind let’s play the game “What’s wrong with this picture?” As a child you found giraffes where lamp posts should have been and bananas where mouths belonged in zany pictures. Giraffes and bananas just don’t belong in those places in our reality. So if our reality is Scripture, where does busyness belong?

It seems that everyone I talk to lately agrees: their lives are not just busy, but crazy-busy. Is it the American way of life? Or is it wrong to be so busy, to want to fill up our short time here on earth with as much as possible? Jesus is our perfect example, is He not? The phrase “Jesus went” appears over and over in the Gospels. He went from one city to another, traveling to approximately 47 different places in three years of ministry! Preaching, healing, discipling, and performing miracles were all part of His schedule.

Does Luke 10:40-42 contradict Jesus’ day-to-day life? 


“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’”
Absolutely not. For not only was Jesus’ teaching perfect and inerrant, but His schedule was also a perfect and inerrant one. We do not know much of His schedule for the first thirty years of His life, but we can see that Jesus accomplished much in the three short years of His ministry. And we know that everything He did was perfect, in the perfect order, with perfect balance and priorities.

Was He busy? Our word for “busy” comes from an Old English word meaning, “careful, anxious, busy, occupied.” No, Jesus was not thus busied. Instead, Luke 2:49b says,

“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 

Jesus was not busy with His own concerns, but with those of His Father’s. And He always found time for what was important:

“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)”  

A full schedule is not an unscriptural one. But a schedule full of our own business, and business that crowds out time alone with the Lord needs reevaluating.

What’s wrong with this picture? Every year as I evaluate my schedule I find new things wrong, places out of balance, and things to change. I never get any less busy, but when I am prioritizing what Jesus prioritized, I don’t live a life of “running around like a chicken with her head cut off”-style madness. The room may still be slightly messy, the alarm clock will still be set to an early hour, and books will still be piled up on the nightstand…but the Bible will be squarely on the top of the tower. 




Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this! It's really what I needed to hear today. I've realized lately that I need to focus on making Jesus truly first in my life, in spit of all the busyness around me.

    Thanks!
    ~Rebekah :)

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  2. You've certainly given me food for thought! Thank you.

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  3. thank you for sharing this...as a new fall routine comes I can so easily get caught up in too many things and neglect what should be first!

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  4. Lauren, once again THANK YOU for a excellent post.
    I have thought for a while now that it can indeed be *wrong* to be too busy. (and getting into what counts as TOO busy and what is just busy would take too long) I have had dear friends pull away merely because they were "SO busy!!" They were too busy to take the time to build relationships with their families, much less with me. I miss seeing those friends. I've known them my whole life, but once they hit college and getting a job (to pay for the aforementioned college), I hardly see them. And it hurts to know how much they're sacrificing, because they feel like they *need* to do everything they have in their schedule. I can't help but imagine them wondering about their broken relationships someday and looking back, wondering if it really was worth it to spend all that time accomplishing things that don't last. (all good things to accomplish, but not at that price)

    *sigh* It's a bit of a hard-hitting subject with me, as you probably can see. 0=/

    But thank you for the reminder to prioritize. I need that... I need to remember not to get all in a frenzy when some things don't work out. I must keep in mind what the important things are: God's work.

    May He bless you.

    -Penn

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  5. Dear Lauren, thank you so very much for your kind and heartfelt comment under my Rejection post.I know every letter of it is true, but I am afraid I am still so far away from feeling the way you would feel in the stuation like mine. It takes a great deal of soul searching and, perhaps, this is the time to do it. Thank you for th wonderful post above - a great way to start for me to change how I feel about certain things. Wishing you wonderful weekend.

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  6. Rebekah--The topic of busyness is one I've been thinking a lot about lately, so I'm glad I'm not the only one! I completely agree--Jesus needs to be number one!
    Vilisi--You're welcome! Thanks for commenting!
    Penn--It sounds like you definitely have some personal experience in this area! My mom and I were talking over this subject some more this afternoon, and I realized even more what a balance it has to be. My great-grandmother put my grandfather and his brother in an orphanage so she could go do "God's work", which was definitely wrong. Family and friends and time with God are God's priorities, too, and your testimony clearly shows that you agree! It's always great to hear from you!
    Anya--You are so welcome! Just know that in a situation like yours I would be completely frenzied and utterly lost--it's only Jesus who gives me calm in the storm!

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