Too Busy For God?
Yesterday we talked about the sadness and pain it would cause if a dear friend, who we loved to spend time with, started to avoid us due to guilt on their part for not feeling like they were good enough. And how perhaps this is how Jesus feels when we avoid Him for the same reason. This may very well “grieve the Holy Spirit.”
Today, let’s think about a friend who is too busy for you. They always have so much going on that you can’t even get on their schedule, even though you’ve been close and whenever you do get together it’s a really great, life-affirming time of rejuvenation.
Have you had a friend like this? Do you know someone like that now? Are you that someone? Too busy to even grab coffee and sit with a good friend for a half hour to do…nothing?
Wasting time with people is one of the very best ways to get closer to them (so obviously it’s not wasting time at all). Spending time together when you have nothing to do is a great way to absorb someone’s presence and appreciate them. Why? Because you don’t have a thousand other things to try to accomplish that are competing for your attention. Your focus is on each other.
So every New Year’s Day we have a tradition of getting together with close friends, the “Dinner Club”, to hang out all day with the only thing on our agenda being to eat soup at some point. It’s great, we do next to nothing, but in all that nothingness we bond. We encourage one another. My spiritual partner and I do the same about every week (without the soup). Same goes for my family–if we don’t have times of just sitting together, eating, cuddling, bonding, then we just go about our lives and agendas wondering who the heck are these people living in this same house.
The other way we bond closer is of course to go through suffering together. But why wait for suffering to come? Start wasting time with God now. Then do what you hear God tell you, for He will inevitably show you work you can do together to even further bond–instead of looking for something to do for God before bonding with Him.
By wasting time we really mean to narrow your focus on Him, and this through a spiritual practice guided by Scripture that helps you laser in on God and what He wants to say to you. It’s been proven that multi-tasking is a physiological impossibility. You cannot focus wholly on more than one thing at a time. So take a season and pick a practice to hone in on with the purpose of knowing God better and more deeply, to remain on the Vine, ingrafted into God. One of the best practices we can possibly partake in, in my opinion, is to meditate on the life of Jesus in the gospels. As the monks at St. Meinrad say, they are “seeking God with the Gospel as our guide.”
For me, in this current season, I’ve been focused on abiding in Christ and the practice I chose has been the examen prayer in the way of Ignatius. It’s beautiful the way he would always begin a practice with just 5-10 minutes of silence to first become aware of the loving presence of God. He would not start an exercise until he was focused first on how God sees him. This alone has been greatly moving for me. If that is a helpful example, great. If not, forget it. As we say, “If it doesn’t throw you into the arms of Jesus, then throw it out!”
Very early–in the middle of the night actually–Jesus got up and went out, off to a lonely place, and prayed. Mark 1:35
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria