“But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:15–16 (NASB95)
It’s the new greeting I hear most often tumbling not just from my lips but from countless others as if it were the new Hello. How are you? Busy! Busy has become a badge of honor, a title to be admired. Busy as an identifier or a greeting screams I am somebody, important, significant, and needed. But busy has also become a new dis-ease wreaking havoc with our souls and robbing us of our peace, and distracting us from what matters most.
Busy means my eyes are locked on my life line – my smart phone that keeps me connected to my latest LinkedIn connection I’ve never heard of or an important IM from a neighbor. Busy keeps my fingers rolling through the latest Tweets or Instagrams looking for a great #tag or to see if anyone has mentioned me @cjrapp. I find myself more and more addicted and in need of the next Twitter fix or Facebook like. I wonder how Jesus would like the Twitter-verse? I wonder if he would consider it a useful tool for spreading the gospel or a colossal waste of time?
I wonder if instead, he might challenge me to lay aside the phone and instead seek to feed my addiction and need to feel significant and needed in my relationship with him. I wonder if he might say to me, “CJ, slip away with me. Put away your distractions, lay aside the details and just let yourself be with me.” I think I would be embarrassed for him to see me needing a phone fix because silence is uncomfortable.
AND YET … it is silence and time away with him that cures the dis-ease created by busyness. It centers us, rearranges our priorities and reenergizes us with his strength. I’ve been running on fumes for a while. I’ve come to realize I’m an introvert with highly extroverted skills – I need time alone with God. I must have it and am willing to pay for it. Jesus knew the crush of busyness. News about him spread through word of mouth which apparently was just as effective as Twitter. People followed him everywhere and yet he HIMSELF would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Not him and his buddies… not him and the crowd… not him and those in need… just him.
He managed to be busy but not let busy rule over him. I’m learning – I’m too busy. I’ve got to be better with boundaries. But… I’ve got to be more committed to my time with Jesus than I am to anything else. Why? Because it is what keeps me from going crazy in an overstimulated world. The lesson for me is if Jesus needed time to pray and be alone and protected that time and sought it often, then why in the world would I think I could get by without it?