Sunday, 19 July 2015

Time and Priorities

I have always resolved never to say 'I'm too tired', or 'I'm too busy' - because it is easy for these statements to become self-indulgent and perhaps even self-pitying. There is also a subtle implication that you are 'more' tired or busy than the person you are speaking to. Furthermore, often being tired or busy is a consequence of choices we have made. God created the world, and specifically set the sun, moon and stars in place to govern the times and seasons (Genesis 1). He created man and woman, gave us God-given responsibilities, and knew right from the start that it might be difficult at times to prioritise. One might argue that the modern world has more temptation in this area than ever before (24 hour shopping, 24 hour libraries, internet that never stops, working between time zones where the working day can be extended, flexi-time, more and more extra curricular activities for both adults and children and so forth). But we are also taught that there is 'nothing new under the sun' (Ecclesiastes) and that Jesus was 'tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin' (Hebrews 4:15). Conscientious employees will always have worked hard and long. Well meaning parents will always have worked extra hard to provide for their children and prepare activities and surprises for them. Dutiful Christians will have served God with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength - and in giving their all, will have become tired in the process. I do not think this is new! And in that we can take great comfort:

1) God knows we are human (in several places we are referred to as being 'dust' or frail and transient like 'the flower of the field, which the wind passes over and it is gone'.

2) Jesus was fully human, just as we are. He knew fatigue. He knew grief. He knew when it was necessary to withdraw with his disciples for a time (Mark 3). He knew the absolute necessity of prayer, finding strength in God

3) Even Jesus could not be everywhere at once. He could not be everything to everybody during his earthly life, but instead prioritised several key relationships (being especially close to Peter, James and John, then to the rest of the twelve, then to the seventy two, and then to others). We can learn from that! (How many close friends do you have? How many Facebook 'friends' do you try to remain close to?)

4) God shows compassion on the weary - I love the story in 1 Kings 19, where Elijah became exhausted and discouraged after God's amazing triumph over the prophets of Baal. God did not become angry with him, but rather gave him refreshing sleep, nourishment and then the next challenge.

5) Jesus tells those who are weary and heavy laden to bring their burdens to Him (Matthew 11:28)

As we are busy juggling work, home education and preparing for a major move, the days have felt too short. Tonight, I feel too weary to write much. I read Jess Connell's post on blogging with a young family - she makes some very balanced comments. My aim is to post once a week during this season of life, but there may be times when life takes over for a while!

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