Do you ever have weeks where you look at your calendar and immediately feel anxious? I do. Just the other day I was trying to schedule an appointment and knew that I had time that day or the next. As I saw that they have openings when I did, I looked ahead in my calendar. I kept scanning further and further ahead for a free day and I was in mid-September! With a wife, two kids, and two jobs all contending for space on the same calendar I’m amazed I have time for anything! But I often wonder, “Am I busy? Or just ineffective?”
In the Gospel of Luke, we see a time when Jesus was visiting at the home of his dear friends, Mary and Martha. These were the sisters of Lazarus and there was a group of friends getting together for a meal. Luke tells us, “But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 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 10:40-42)
Busyness can often distract us from what is important. Of course, there are things that we need to get done, and I’ll be the first to admit that my priorities are not always the most optimal. However, we all know people who seem to hide behind their hectic schedules. One author writes, “We wear our busyness like it’s a badge of honor when instead we should wear it as a big warning label that says, ‘Hey man, check this out: I’m disorganized!’”
Jesus did not completely disregard Martha’s contribution, but he did call out her anxiety over things that were not the most important. We give our focus and time to all sorts of things, but are we giving our Spiritual lives the same kind of attention? I know that I don’t. I do a terrible job of making time for prayer with my wife or quiet time alone with God.
I’m too tired, or too busy, or any of a dozen other excuses. Maybe I need to admit that I’m just being ineffective and clogging my schedule with busy work, so I don’t need to sit and be vulnerable with God. Take a look at your calendar this week and ask the Holy Spirit to point out where you are just being ineffective and make some time for Him. I guarantee He can help you with that anxiety.