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Jul 27, 2019 173 0 Reshma Thomas
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Too Busy For God?

God is Never Too Busy to Listen; Don’t Be Too Busy to Talk to Him.

First Venture

Once during a sermon, a priest narrated an incident that happened while he was a deacon at a small parish in the countryside. It was the feast of the Immaculate Conception and this meant a grand celebration for the parishioners. The young and vibrant deacon was fully in charge of the event, and he was going about making all the arrangements. Soon he was so absorbed with the hustle and bustle that he barely had time for personal prayer. That evening, right before the procession, he went to his room to freshen up. Just as he was removing his cassock, he sprained his arm. Awkwardly, he could not bring down his arm, not even in a position to get some help. His mind raced with the long list of “things to do” before the ceremony. Unfortunately, all he could do now was lie on the bed with his arms still raised above his head, as if frozen halfway in the action of removing his cassock. As he lay on the bed helplessly, tears rolled down his cheeks. It was his first venture being vested the responsibility of a church feast. His head flooded with all the things that could go wrong and fear began to seep in. In his heart resounded the words that our Savior said on the Cross: “My God … Why have You forsaken me?” The deacon got an answer that day. It was simple to the core: “You were too busy for me.”

Perfectly well

He realized how easily he fell into the trap of being too busy. Surrendering everything into God’s hands, he finally began to pray to God, asking Him to take control. After a while, the deacon was able to get up and, although his sprained arms were aching, he managed to get dressed and go to the church. To his amazement, everything went perfectly well. He felt foolish thinking the ceremony would turn pell-mell without his supervision. The deacon, now a gifted priest, recounts this incident saying, “If you are too busy for God, then you are going nowhere!” Oftentimes, when life seems too hectic and we are carrying the burden of deadlines for projects, surmounting bills to pay and curtailed by job downsizing, we simply feel overstressed. The clock keeps ticking and
we scurry to get “bigger and better” things. Satan knows very well how to keep us running in circles to beat the time and make it to the top. How easily we are dissuaded from the real purpose of our life.

A Way to Imitate

Jesus Himself shows us the way to find the real purpose of our life. During His ministry, no matter how great a crowd followed Him and pressed Him for healings, Jesus withdrew into the desert or to the top of mountains to pray to his Heavenly Father. We are called to imitate Him and draw close to God in prayer even in the midst of all our busyness. For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest, you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But when we refuse and flee like horses and ride upon swift reeds, soon will the day come when we look back and see how great our loss is!” There is a striking incident on busyness in the Bible itself. The story of Martha and Mary from chapter 10 of the Gospel of Luke tells how Martha welcomes Jesus into their home but hurries to prepare the meal. Her sister Mary simply sits at the feet of Jesus and hears the wisdom of Christ. The overwhelmed Martha complains to Jesus asking Him, “Do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?” Jesus answers her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

What Do You Choose?

Martha was indeed doing her duty of preparing the meal and serving the guests. Still Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better part. Why? Martha was too consumed with physical needs, while Mary chose to listen to the Word of God present before her in person as Jesus Christ. Today Jesus speaks these same reverberating words to us. Would you choose the better part, which is to listen
to Jesus? How do we listen to Jesus? It is no wonder that Jesus speaks to us today but we are so engulfed in frivolous trappings and empty, sensual pleasures of the world. Little do we realize that the world is passing by, our bodies degrading every day and we miss “the only one thing” in life? Jesus invites you into His friendship. Martha, Mary and Lazarus were His dear friends. Jesus takes one more step to beckon us into a close relationship with Him. The act of trusting Him by simply sitting at His feet and listening to Him is the true beginning of a beautiful relationship with Him.

Listening to Jesus

Even in the grim night when a son comes home calling out to his mom, it does not take even a second for the mother to recognize her son’s voice. In the same way, we need to get familiar with the voice of God, which is open to us through the Word of God. Spending time listening to Jesus by reading the Word makes us familiar with His voice and rejuvenates our spirit to do God’s will. Then when we are stranded in life we can hear the voice clearly saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Jesus looks upon us every moment, yet we seldom look up to Him. He speaks to us today but, sadly, our ears are deafened by social media, news, music, and whatnot. His words of wisdom get drowned in the multitude of distractions in which we are immersed. There is a famous passage from Saint Augustine’s “Confessions” where he states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” We tend to miss the bigger picture that God is always trying to draw our attention to Our hearts were made for Him who created us!

A Dream about You

We are too busy fulfilling the desires of the heart that we seldom remember God or turn to Him for help. While He looks over us, we are too busy in the rat race of this world that we do not give God a chance. Do we ever realize that God has a dream about each one of us and we are all sent on a mission in this life on earth? God’s dream about you is bigger and better and it does not end
with death. Rather, it turns into an everlasting love that leads to eternal life in heaven. Jesus longs to tell you today, “Do not be afraid!” He is right beside you to help you, as in Jeremiah: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Now is the time to turn back to God. He longingly waits for your return. Will you sit with Jesus today and say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens …”? Surely the Lord will fight for you and you have only to keep still.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, I am sorry for being too busy with the cares and needs of life. Your grace is all I need. Lord, I humbly sit at Your feet to listen to Your voice. Let my heart always seek to listen to Your inspiration, in every moment of my life. Amen.

 

 

Reshma Thomas

© serves on the Editorial Board of Shalom Tidings. She resides with her family in Kerala, India.

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