Occasionally I’ll be ready to check out an item at a store and the store’s phone will ring. It’s most common at an auto parts store. What follows is a conversation that I only overhear half of. In an auto parts store the phone conversation may lead to the check out person going on the computer to search for a particular part. It may take a few moments. The store either has the part or not. The price is either right or not. Finally, perhaps five or ten minutes later the mystery person on the other end of the phone either makes plans to come in for a part or not. Suffice it to say, sometimes I find myself frustrated while I stand waiting to check out my item–a real live person, who will make a real purchase.
Jesus seems to have similar moments in the Bible. Luke 9:50 and following describes Jesus asking people to follow him into Jerusalem. One person says, “Yes, but first let me bury my father.” Another person says, “Yes, but first let me go and say good-bye to my household.” Jesus was there in the flesh. But, the people he was inviting kept tending to other calls. It wasn’t like the other calls were not important. Of course there are lots of important things in our lives. Yet, any of us who seek to follow Jesus into a life-change, or try to ramp up our devotional lives, or plan to take some type next step on the spiritual journey, we all know one of the first challenges in tending to the spiritual side of life, is being able to make time with all the pressing, practical demands upon our lives.
Saying “no” to say “yes,” saying “yes” and then overcoming life’s interruptions is seldom easy. Prioritizing things like worship, service, forgiving or loving isn’t easy when the rains are frequent, the grass is long, and all the neighbors have already finished their mowing. But, if you’ve ever lost something, searched and searched, then when you’ve about given up, stopped to pray, only to find you suddenly knew exactly where to find what was lost, you know life works better when staying connected to God is our first priority.
If you’ve many things to care for today, I invite you to intentionally make a few moments to be near Jesus. If you know someone who is feeling overwhelmed, I invite you to say a prayer. Then find a way to be a gentle interruption (a momentary God-send) in the midst of that person’s endless stuff. Life is better when we find ways to see, and be present to, the God who is right in front of us first–before tending to the rest of life.
Praying God’s Peaceful Presence for You,