“Hurried people aren’t happy people.” I recently heard this statement on a podcast I listen to, and it took me for a moment. It really spoke to the situation I have been praying through in my life.
For months, God has been teaching me about rest and rhythm. I finally understand how to take a real rest with Him, but that doesn’t change the busyness of life. It doesn’t cease all the commitments staring me in the face. Rather, it allows me a place to go when the anxiety of the calendar weighs on me. So I am grateful for rest in Jesus! But as grateful as I am for rest, I began asking the Lord about His rhythm of life. I began to search scripture for a hint of how He lived. Because from what I can tell, He was also a busy man: always moving around, healing people and teaching others. The man barely had a moment away by himself!
What I noticed in scripture is that Jesus was a simple man. He didn’t require many possessions, he had no permanent home, and He never really took anything with him on his journeys, besides his disciples. And although He was busy and could’ve been more concerned with himself and His needs, He was always joyful and available. And that simple discovery led me to the question – How can I live this simple, joyful, available life in today’s busy world?
I often beat myself up for the lack of time I have to connect with people during these busy seasons: whether it’s friends, new families or some days even the family in my own home. With crazy schedules it seems impossible and overwhelming to add one more thing to our calendar. But in my praying and searching for answers, God reminded me of a story in scripture:
They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabboni, ”the blind man said to him, “I want to see.” Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road. Mark 10:46-52
Jesus, unlike myself, didn’t get out his calendar or call a meeting with His disciples to determine if there was time for this blind man. He simply ministered to him as He went along. And this thought challenged me.
In this season of busyness I’m experiencing, I can still minister to others. It’s as easy as ministering as I go. When I’m at a ball game, I can sit beside people I don’t know and connect with a new family. When my husband and I wait two hours for a practice to end, we can run out for dinner together. When it’s been a long week for a friend and I’m cooking dinner, I can invite them over. I mean, I’m already cooking anyways. I am capable of being joyful and available for those around me. Busyness doesn’t have to mean unhappiness. I may not always be happy about the busy, but my joy isn’t determined by my calendar. My joy comes from the rest and the rhythm I find in the Lord. And when I rest in the Lord, I learn His rhythm; I become effective in the kingdom, despite how busy I may be.
Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Matthew 11:29
This verse is one of my favorites, especially the way The Message version puts it. Here’s what it has taught me: the rhythm of Jesus is that of relationship, not works or rules. And that’s in keeping relationship with Him and with others. We put way more pressure on ourselves than Jesus ever would! There is not a right or wrong way to connect with others, just connect. Our relationship with others in this busy season doesn’t have to be specific or perfect, it just needs to be – full of grace because that’s the rhythm of Jesus!