Busy to Death
They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:18
I had a day off yesterday, which means I got up early and ran from one thing to another until last night, when I crawled – very tired – in to bed. My day was packed with exercise, grocery shopping, a couple meetings, mowing, more exercise, a school sporting event, and time with family. This is what always happens on my day off. I cram it full of all the stuff I didn’t have time for every other day.
It’s not that I’m busier than anyone else. We’re all busy. We’ve all got a million things to do and not enough time in which to do them. If only I had more time . . . I’ve been there, telling myself I’d be in better shape, be a better husband/father, be a better Christian, if only I had more time. The truth though, is that I make time for that which really is most important to me at the moment. Often, I’ve allowed the trivial to consume me, stealing from those things which truly matter.
In today’s passage, Jesus addressed distractions, using a parable of a sower, scattering seed. Jesus explained that the seed is his word and that we are the ground that receives it. Some of the sower’s seed fell among thorns. This represents those of us who hear the word, receiving the seed, but then the thorns – the cares of the world and the desire for other things – choke it out. We know God and in theory, we want to follow, but we’re just so busy.
I can clearly remember a time in life when I just couldn’t possibly get up a half hour early to read and pray. I somehow found time to watch a couple hours TV that evening though. It’s not that I didn’t have time, I just didn’t make faith a priority. I was so busy with other stuff, that I didn’t have time for God. So, I followed me – to my own disaster.
We’re all busy. If we truly believe our faith is the most important thing about us though, we’ll make time for it. If we don’t, the cares of the world just naturally choke our spiritual lives, making us miserable in our busyness.