A common conversation we might hear:
“Hey, I haven’t seen you for a while. How have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been busy. Really busy.”
“Oh yeah? What have you been up to?”
“Well, you know, work, kids at school, sports, stuff to get done around the home, meetings.”
“Oh my, I know what you mean. I’m going from morning to night with one thing after the other… schedule is filled. Busy as ever!”
“Yep…I know what you mean…busy!”
“You too. G’bye!”
Being busy is sometimes like a merit badge we wear on our shoulder. We think that people are going to be really impressed if we are really busy. After all, if we are busy, we must important. And yet, maybe we are chasing after something we desire in our lives. Things such as approval of others; success; love of money; a material thing (car; house; latest gadget); a hobby; successful, well behaved children; a hurt-free life; worldly pleasures (drugs, alcohol, food, sex); a cause (pro-life movement, political party), etc.
Having a life full of meaningful things is not bad in and of itself but when these things take over our lives and we cannot lay them down at any time because they’ve become all-consuming and so important to us, it’s a good time to re-examine what we are doing and why.
So much of life is how we prioritize what is truly important. This can be difficult to measure sometimes. A good question to ask ourselves is, “Are the activities and focus of my life contributing to eternity and advancing God’s Kingdom?” There are numerous activities that fall under this category and each of us knows our own heart. It’s the distinction between promoting our own kingdom and ambitions or promoting God’s agenda so that He may be seen by what we do.
We can be focused so much on our own self-promoting agenda that we miss some incredible opportunities that God put right in front of us to invite into our lives others who may not know the love of God through Jesus. This takes time and investment, and sometimes it is not convenient. It means we have to be flexible enough to shuffle our schedules around to make time for others. Many times our plans are not God’s plans. Again, there are a lot of things we do that are good, but we place the good above the best to which God calls us. We all know a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, or someone that is struggling in life—someone who is part of the church family where we could reach out with Christ’s love in grace and invite them into our lives to make a difference.
If this life and world is just about our happiness and living in the status-quo, we’re missing it. If Jesus told us to make disciples of all nations, it is going to take purposeful initiative. When we live day to day, not considering the brokenness and the lost state of the world around us, may I submit that we have forgotten our purpose? Living our lives in regard to self-gratification and fulfillment actually only leaves us empty. God created us for him and to shine his light in this world even if it means inconvenience and getting out of our comfort zone. If someone came to you today and asked you, “Why should I become a Christian?” would you be ready to share the hope you have within you? I am convinced the only way that we will be prepared for this question is if we are already taking the opportunities God is putting in front of us every day to purposefully share Christ in both word and deed. It means building relationships…which takes time. It reminds me that this world is not our home. What kingdom are you investing in?