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.