I am amazed by how easy it is to fill up a day with errands, appointments, meetings, chores, and family time. Sometimes I go into my office in the morning and open my calendar to look at the schedule for the day or the week and find myself thinking “there is no way all of this will get done, what can I reschedule for another day?”
While it is good to be busy and productive (I’ve learned those two things are not always the same), I have found myself on my knees often asking the Lord to forgive me for neglecting those things that matter the most. I am not talking about my reading and studying of God’s Word, and I’m not talking about my prayer life; those are two of the most important things any of us should be doing. I’m talking about people. Actual people, not virtual friends on “social media”. Real human beings with eternal souls. You know, the reason Jesus Christ came into the world!
How can I, a pastor none the less, become so busy that I begin to look past the very reason I am even in the ministry? How shameful. It is not that we don’t care about others, or that we don’t want to minster to others, but sometimes we get so busy with all the details of our lives and ministries that we stop seeing those things which matter the most. Let’s keep in mind that we (the church) have been given one central task, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”.
In Mark 5:21-34 the Bible gives a great lesson about our priorities. Jesus was hurrying on his way to help a little girl so ill that her father describes her as being “at the point of death”. What a tragic event this was. As Jesus was ministering to the people, this man begged him for help. Jesus agreed to go with the man to the place where the child was laying, but the crowd had grown so huge and so excited by the miracles that Jesus had been doing that the Bible says that they “thronged” Jesus. In the middle of the crowd there was woman who was ill. She had her illness for twelve years and had found no help from any doctor. In fact, the Bible says that she had spent all that she had and yet grew worse.
And here is where the lesson about priorities is found. Even though Jesus was in the middle of a giant crowd of needy people, and even though he was on his way to help a “life or death situation”, he still had time to reach out to the helpless woman who could not have been healed without him.
Jesus found time to stop in the middle of his hectic and busy day for just one woman. Her life was changed because Jesus took 1 minute (when he didn’t have 1 minute) to stop what he was doing and minister to this woman on an individual basis. May God help me to always be aware of the one person in the middle of my busy day that so desperately needs Jesus. I may be the only hope that person has of ever finding the hope, healing, and forgiveness that they so desperately need.
So yes, stay busy and productive, but not so busy and productive that we become failures at that which God has called us to do, “Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature”.