“It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.”
“I don’t want to bother anyone, so I’ll squeeze it into my schedule.”
“I don’t mind helping out.”
“I like being busy.”
Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I’ve caught several of the words above escaping my mouth lately. And with those words come the accompanying justification in my mind that says:
Productivity is a good thing. After all, “…every good tree bears good fruit.”
I want to be a good tree. I want to bear good fruit. So how do I know when being productive turns into being too busy?
I always thought Martha was misunderstood. Jesus gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the right way. Mary resolved to spend time worshipping her Lord, but my practical nature can’t help but wonder. If Martha hadn’t been in the kitchen, what would everyone have eaten? Would it display Christ-like character to let your guests go hungry?
I can’t imagine inviting guests into my home and not having anything prepared for them to eat or drink. That’s the defining trait of the do-er. But sometimes, all that doing leaves little time for the most important thing.
Martha and I aren’t the only ones who needed this lesson.
“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” Matthew 17:2-4 NIV
Peter was a do-er too. He didn’t like to sit around and wait for things to happen. As a result, he sometimes missed the moments of peace God desired to give.
I can identify with Peter’s actions in the passage above. I know I would’ve done the same thing. With the sinless Son of God standing before me, shining like the sun, I can see myself frantically scurrying about. Do you guys need anything? Here, let me make you a place to sit.
Lord, help me.
Thankfully, from God’s divine words that followed, we learn a valuable lesson for those times when we let ourselves get too busy. Let’s see how God responded to Peter’s gesture.
God knew Peter’s heart, and He knew why Peter responded to this life-changing moment with an act of busyness disguised as an act of service.
Because do-ers like to feel needed, accepted, valued.
So God got Peter’s attention. He interrupted Peter while he spoke and commanded him to listen.
From Peter’s experience that day, we can glean a simple yet important truth.
Does God need to interrupt me and tell me to listen? Or will I be ready when the moment arrives?
Being busy is not always a bad thing, and yes, being fruitful is good. But it is possible to get too busy and miss the peace God has given us.
God already values us more than anything. We don’t need to earn it. So as we go about following schedules today, let’s listen for God’s voice. May His words speak volumes to our longing hearts.