Busy vs. Being


How do you feel about lists? I love them. I especially love to check things off my lists. I get a little thrill every time I make a little check mark or draw a line through an item. It makes me feel productive, like I have accomplished something. Modern culture supports the idea of being productive and getting things done. While God is a proponent of being about his business, He is not necessarily a proponent of busyness.

I used to work as an adjunct English instructor, which called for a lot of grading and prep work. One night I was working on my computer, later than usual, when my cat Goldie came in and got on my desk, a common occurrence. Usually, he would get up on my monitor (an old CRT) and sleep, happy to just be in my presence. However, on this occasion, he walked over to the mouse pad and politely laid his 12-pound self onto my hand, effectively stopping me from moving it. I was about to begin fussing at him when I looked into his face and saw firm determination. In that moment, I realized that I had been so caught up being busy that I had been ignoring him. I stopped what I was doing and gathered Goldie up in my arms and spent some time just being with my furry companion and resting from the busyness of the day.

In Luke 10:38-42, we see a similar situation. Jesus went to visit his friends Mary and Martha. Mary sat at his feet while Martha was busy with preparations. When Martha asks Jesus to reprimand her sister for not helping, Jesus “answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” There was work to be done, but Martha had gotten caught up in busyness instead of being with Jesus.

Sometimes we allow the troubles of daily life to overcome us. At times like these if we just take a moment to breathe and say a prayer, God will make a way for everything that needs to be done to get done. Sometimes that means letting something go until tomorrow, and sometimes God will just take care of it for us. I was fretting over a looming deadline just last night, so I prayed for guidance. I had been busy all day and was really looking forward to the evening off, but I didn’t want to miss an opportunity if it was in God’s will. The opportunity was with a publisher who had been known to alter deadlines, so I looked online to verify the deadline date. I discovered the deadline had been extended by months. It was a needed reprieve. I was able to sit down and do my daily Bible reading. Both the reading and the moment of just sitting in the Lord’s presence was refreshing to body and soul.

Sometimes God has to use Goldie’s to sit on our hands in order for us to see the need for a break from the busyness of the world. I have had friends who are prone to constantly working admit that it took a minor illness to get them to slow down for a little while and sit in God’s presence. We all need a break. We all need a few moments to just be in God’s presence each day and rest in the Father’s arms. Like Goldie, take a moment to enjoy a little time to just be. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” When we do this, everything else will come into perspective.

Hanging Out



Cats choose their people, whether the person likes it or not. You have the option to walk away, of course, but it doesn’t change the cats mind one iota. However, once you choose the cat in return, your life will never be the same.

In 2000, I happened to drop by my sister’s house and discovered a scruffy gold-colored tabby kitten sitting on her couch. I instinctively called “her” Goldie although I’m not sure why. The kitten followed me to the door, but I shooed it back in and continued on my way. Every time I went by in the next couple of weeks, the cat followed me, crying insistently. My sister practically begged me to take the four-week old stray they had rescued from a parking lot. Eventually, I gave in and took the tiny fur ball home with me. The small, short-haired, female tabby turned out to be a 12-pound, male Maine Coon. He followed me everywhere, content to sit in my lap or at my feet or on the rug outside the shower. He chose me, and I chose him in return. He was a source of comfort and companionship as well as frustration and irritation because after all he was a cat, but he was always my baby kitty no matter what.

Actually, we have all been chosen: “According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (KJV, Eph. 1:4). God chose to create mankind with the ability to choose Him in return. His gift of free will also gives us the opportunity to reject Him.

Not only were we chosen, but we were loved: “But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (KJV, Rom. 5:8). He knew that in giving us free will that we would need a Savior, so he provided us a way out by dying on the cross.

Not only were we chosen, not only were we loved, but there is nothing that can or will keep Him from us: “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (KJV, Romans 8:39). There is nothing we can do to separate us from God’s love except to not choose Christ as our savior.

We were chosen before we existed in our mother’s womb to be His children and he holds out his hand. You have the option to walk away, of course, but the better option is to choose Him in return. We will undoubtedly make mistakes because after all we are human. However, those mistakes will never separate us from the love of God because we will always be His beloved children.

We are chosen, but we must make a choice in return. Once we make that decision, we should be like Goldie, preferring to sit at our savior’s feet, following Him wherever He goes, content to be in His presence. Once you do, your life will never be the same.