How to Spend Time with God, Even When We’re Busy
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” Psalm 70:4
How to Spend Time with God, Even When We’re Busy
10 second summary: Spend time with God today, no matter how busy you are. Relax and focus on Him for 1 minute, read His word for 4 minutes, and pray for 5 minutes. These can be the best-spent 10 minutes of your day, and give you the focus and direction you need. Try to sneak away by yourself briefly, but if you absolutely can’t then do these God-focused activities while driving in the car. (Listen to a bible audio version, and pray with your eyes open, please!)
Are you a Mary or a Martha?
Are you more like Mary or like Martha? You know, the Mary and Martha in the bible in Luke 10:38-42.
In this story, there were two sisters named Mary and Martha. Jesus had been traveling with his disciples, and Martha welcomed Him into her home. She scrambled and was running around preparing everything that needed to be done for Jesus and His disciples, no doubt working very hard trying to get critical items accomplished. (I don’t know about you, but if Jesus and his closest friends were suddenly at my house, I’d be scrambling too!)
Martha was busy working when she suddenly realized her sister Mary wasn’t doing anything at all to help her, but was sitting at Jesus’ feet. Mary was busy too, but not helping Martha serve their guests—she was busy listening to everything Jesus had to say to her and others.
Frazzled and frustrated
Apparently that was the last straw for Martha, and she got frustrated at her sister. So she waltzed up to Jesus and vented, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40b) Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
Ouch! I bet Martha was completely embarrassed, and possibly Mary too. But Jesus’ message was clear. Mary chose to focus on Jesus’ presence, not on her or anyone else’s to-do list, and she was blessed for it. Her priorities were correct, she chose the best course of action, and no doubt she had that special memory of sitting at Jesus’ feet her entire life to help her through the good times and the bad.
Poor Martha. I admit I’m way more like Martha than Mary. I thrive on goal-achievement, and take pride in jobs well done. I try to be the best that I can be, and do things the “right” way. I strive to get tons done every day, pushing myself to the limits of productivity. If Jesus were at my house, I’d be checking to make sure there’s enough toilet paper in the guest bathroom and that it’s been wiped down with Lysol at least briefly. I’d be figuring out what to serve for dinner, making sure everyone had something cool to drink, and if they were staying overnight, digging out pillows, blankets, and all the air mattresses I could find.
Like Martha, I usually have the best of intentions in mind when I’m busy, but sometimes being busy causes us to miss out on the best in life. Sometimes I get stressed, impatient, and drive my family crazy with my craziness. That’s why God calls us to focus our life by starting our day out with Him.
I don’t know what happened next in the story of Mary and Martha, but I imagine it went something like this… Martha turned beet red from embarrassment and realized she’d been running around like a chicken with her head cut off. In her excitement to serve Jesus, she hadn’t stopped to truly welcome him and listen to what He had to say to her. But she had a great sense of humor so she laughed it off, gave Mary and Jesus both a big hug, brushed the hair and sweat from her brow, and flopped down next to Mary. She took a deep breath, listened to Jesus, and refocused. After a few minutes, both sisters got up smiling and finished all the preparations that needed to be done. Mary apologized too for not helping sooner, even though her priorities were right. (She realized she could have at least communicated she’d be right there to help as soon as she was done visiting with Jesus for a bit.) Who knows what really happened next—I’ll ask Martha one day when I’m in heaven ‘cause I have the feeling she and I will get along great.
God first, to-do list second
The lesson for me in this story is to stop and focus on and spend time with Jesus BEFORE I tackle my to-do list. Not only does He give me the strength, comfort, and energy to do what I need to do, but He helps me best prioritize my day.
Have you ever been so busy that you realize after a while that some of the things you’ve been doing are kinda pointless? Or that you’re stressing needlessly over things that aren’t so important? (Like making sure the bathroom towels match before guests come over, when you know they really probably won’t pay attention and any ol’ clean towels will do.) Some of our daily tasks are necessary, while others are just meaningless habits that can get in our way. Slowing down is critical to our success and helps us put things in perspective. The busier life is, the more important stopping to focus on God and the right priorities becomes.
So let’s take 10 minutes today to spend time with God, who loves us so very much. I’m a Martha through-and-through, so I need constant reminders to focus on what’s important, and to slow down long enough to spend time with God before I rush into my day.
If you’re more like Mary, then congratulations—I’m a little jealous! Keep reminding yourself and others to spend time with the Lord, then prioritize other things that need to be done, too.
Make time for what’s most important
Make time today to complete yesterday’s recommended “quiet time” activities—at minimum, take 1 minute to relax and rest in God’s presence, 4 minutes to read His word, and 5 minutes to pray. We really can’t afford not to. The amazing thing is, when we start our day by putting God first and spending time with Him, He makes us more productive, relaxed and energized to go about our day.
Ladies, what helps remind you to stop and focus on God? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments below, or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Take 10 today to sit at the feet of the God who loves you more than you can ever know! Like Mary, you’ll be forever blessed for it.