We are busy. There’s rarely enough time in the day to do all of the things we would like to get done. While life is filled with endless tasks and duties we must attend to, most of the busyness comes from distractions and other non essentials that tie up our time. It’s the curse of living in the information age. We surf the web, binge watch netflix, keep tabs on the latest news, and follow 1,000 people on social media. This is the downside of being so connected.
It’s been said, “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Maybe there’s some truth to that. However, the reality is we live in a busy world and it’s only going to get worse. So, is it possible to be busy and have a thriving relationship with God at the same time?
Jesus was a busy guy too. People were always clamoring to speak with him, hear from him, be healed by him, or question him. I imagine the three years he spent in public ministry were a whirlwind. How did he handle all of that pressure? Mark’s gospel gives us a clue as to how Jesus went about his business.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
I wish Mark would have given us more information. I would like to know the details of Jesus’ devotional life, but a couple of things jump out at me from this brief description.
First off, Jesus got up very early. I’m sure he was tired, but he was disciplined enough and passionate enough to invest the first part of his day in prayer. Secondly, he left the house to find a solitary place. Jesus needed to be by himself with no distractions. He was focused. He didn’t pray on the go, or in his spare time. He carved out time, got away from it all, and removed the opportunity for distractions. Lastly, he was gone so long the disciples had to go out searching for him. In other words, there were places to go and people to see, but Jesus had somehow lost himself in time spent with his Father in heaven. Jesus attitude seems to be “everything else can wait for this.”
The habits of Jesus reveal the secret to maintaining a busy lifestyle while thriving in a relationship with God: get up early, block out distractions, lose yourself in what is most important. Be like Jesus.