Escape from Busyness

By: Jill Briscoe

We can all relate to the ongoing need for renewal in the midst of our busy day.  However, we’re often on the run from early morning till late at night and can’t seem to find the precious minutes to be still.  Over and over again women tell me what an ongoing struggle this is for them.  I quite understand; it’s an ongoing struggle for me, too!

In Luke 10, we meet Martha, who was seemingly too busy to be blessed.  Jesus did not rebuke her busyness but rather her anxiety about it.  Jesus wanted to take her worry about her work away from her, relieving her of the stress that is so often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Martha’s problem is often ours.  We are distracted by our much serving and become, as someone has said, more concerned with the work of the Lord than the Lord of the work!  It is so easy to do.  There was nothing wrong with Martha’s love and devotion for Jesus.  But busyness that hustles out to meet the day without meeting Jesus first is busyness that will soon be busy bossing everyone around, getting irritated, becoming self-righteous and downright hostile with everyone in sight.  What’s more, it is an activity that will end up in an accusing, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me”  (Luke 10:40b)!

Of course He cares!  He would have us join Mary at His feet so He can tell us how much He cares.  You might be tempted to think it was easy for Mary.  She was obviously of a very different temperament than her sister.  But we must be careful; we must not presume we really know what Mary’s temperament was like.  John Calvin points out that Jesus said she had chosen the better part.  If this was the case, he suggests, perhaps she was Martha before she was Mary.  That’s a neat thought.  Maybe Mary was even more of a Martha than Martha!  The point is, whatever our temperament or inclination to worship, we all need to make a daily choice to meet Him sometime, someplace that fits our particular schedule.  If we do, we will go out to serve with His blessing resting on our service, His peace in our hearts, His joy on our lips.  If we don’t take time to be renewed, we’ll end up earning a rebuke at the end of the day.

So come ye apart and rest awhile—as Jesus invited you.  If you don’t, you may well find yourself coming apart!

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.