Like you, I tend to live a busy life. Between my marriage, work, volunteer positions, family and writing, my schedule gets filled up pretty quickly. However, I’m probably farther down the line on the busy scale. Those of you who have kids most certainly find your schedules pressed up against the margins. But it doesn’t really matter who has the busiest schedule. The point is that we’re all busy.
But is that good?
I think we as a culture have greatly undervalued time. It’s a commodity to us. In America, we pack our schedules as tight as we can. Other cultures I’ve experienced don’t live this way.
I went on a trip to the Domincan Republic a few years back. The culture there is extremely hospitable. But more than that, they seem to value shared experience over being busy. It was routine for someone to have a guest come in for a meal that would stretch for hours. In that culture, they value being present with the person who is with them in that moment rather than being stretched in a million different directions.
Even in France I saw this. The culture just moved at a slower pace. Reading that sentence from an American point of view, you may consider that a bad thing. But I feel the exact opposite. It was so refreshing to slow down and enjoy the present moment wherever I was.
It’s easy to make your schedule busier, but it’s very difficult to pare it down. But as I look at the Bible, and especially the Gospels, it seems Jesus was much more focused on being present than on checking tasks off a to-do list. One of the most famous passages centered on this topic comes in Luke chapter 10. It’s the story of Mary and Martha.
Bible Gateway passage: Luke 10:38-42 - New International Version
At the Home of Martha and Mary - As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named…
Most of the time when this story is discussed, we bash Martha for being so focused on busy work when Jesus was right there in front of…