I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot lately. It all started with my blogging BFF Adela from Once A Little Girl. She wrote a post about her family being lost in the big city while she as a four year old went on exploring by herself. The post is called, appropriately enough, Lost and Found. She uses her wonderful writing style and excellent sense of humor to liken herself to our Lord when His family went searching for Him.
Then I had an interesting teaching moment with my daughter, who is seventeen and super committed at church. She leads worship for some of the services and sings backup for several others. Well, my recently widowed mother came in for Easter due to the kindness of her wonderful neighbors. They were going to be visiting family near our home, and offered to drive her the almost three hours so that she could visit us for the holiday.
My daughter had already sang Friday, led worship on Saturday and was part of a special number on Easter Sunday morning. During our Easter brunch, which was kind of disasterous by the way, Mom got a call from her ride that they would be leaving a little later than they thought. This meant we had two choices: 1) Drop my mother off at a fast food restaurant to wait an hour and a half so that my daughter could sing again Sunday night (she was only backup this particular service) OR 2) Make sure that Mom/Grandma was delivered a few minutes before her neighbors could pick her up so that we could enjoy each other’s company a little longer.
Now, many of us who have mega responsibilities at church have experienced choices similar to this. Needless to say, I needed to coach my daughter through this lesson on priorities. In the end, she was able to get a ride to church, and the rest of the family dropped Mom off at the necessary time. However, the whole experience got me thinking about something I’ve been meditating on for some time. Sometimes we are faced with choices about how to serve God. To someone young, either in years or in the faith, it might seem like serving in church is the ultimate highest…but that is so untrue!
Sometimes, our family has been so “busy” about our Father’s business at church, that we don’t have time to cry with a neighbor, or to honor our parents, or to pick up a visitor (which is supposed to be the whole point for crying out loud!)
Jesus was always willing to be interrupted, and He never seemed pressured by time or to be in a hurry.
This morning a friend posted a status on Facebook regarding Satan making us busy at times, and my Pastor consistently says that Satan schedules distractions for us. I think that sometimes these “distractions” can be good things, like singing at church…
I remember one time last year when my daughter and I were on our way to a Ladies Conference at church. One of us was supposed to be there early, but I don’t remember who or why. It was raining cats and dogs, and just before we pulled up to the building I saw a young lady pushing a stroller in the pouring rain. I remember saying something to my daughter like, “I wish we had time to help them.”…and then I realized how ridiculous that statement was. So, I turned the car around and drove the lady and her sopping wet stroller and baby to their home.
Problems come to people at inconvenient times. The answer to those problems (and many times we are that answer) will come wrapped in inconvenience too. Maybe we should look at our busyness as the inconvenience, not the scheduled “serving”. In cases like these, what is my Father’s business? What does the audience of Heaven applaud? Leaving Grandma at Mickey D’s to wait for an hour and a half because we have to go to our eighth practice in a week? Driving by a soaking mother and baby because I don’t want to be tardy for PRAYER? Aren’t we funny?
33 thoughts on “Busy About My Father’s Business??”
Well said, daughter. As the Mom/Grandma of the above, I so dislike being a “disturber” of the “serving” opportunities of the family. But there is something deeper here that I love….and that is you’re takeing the opportunity to teach “truth” to your children, looking at everyday life events that can help shape your children into the image of Christ. I envision a cartoon picturing that poor mother pushing the stroller while a deluge of water falls from the sky on her baby, (we’ll make it worse and add lighning striking around them) while Christians pass her by on their way to “church” with bumper stickers that read, “Honk, if you love Jesus”. I can’t help but laugh at the obvious implications!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Last year the Lord released me as a worship leader and I’ve been struggling with the “Now what?” question. I couldn’t let go of serving the church and these stupid “priorities” that God never called me to make. Yet there I was, cramming all kinds of crap into my schedule. It all came to a head a few weeks ago when I realized God was asking me to take a break from church until I could stop saying yes to every little thing that came my way. This makes weekend #4. =/ I know God has it all in hand and nothing’s falling down without me but a 20+ year habit of being the go-to girl is hard to break. Your message hit me at just the right time. Thanks.
I know what being the “go-to” girl is like. It’s a hard position to fill. But, at least for me, I don’t feel like cutting back on church responsibilities will help with my prioritizing…no…in fact, most of the time I find that my church responsibilities fit in the category of time well spent. It’s only when I realize that in the hustle and bustle of things that I’ve forgotten the point to begin with that I have to remember what my true priorities are.
Also, if you don’t mind me asking, Dear Heart, when you say taking a break from church, I can not tell if you mean entirely or just as go-to girl. The only reason I ask, is because if you are, as you say learning to “stop saying yes to every little thing that” comes your way, well, I’ve found that can be a lifelong lesson, and I’m sure both you and your church family would miss each other immensely in the mean time…
I’m glad this post encourages you to keep Him at the center of everything…especially in our service to mankind…
I mean temporarily. 🙂
I’m glad to to hear that…you would be missed…
This was a good and sensible read. Really, isn’t it all about the people around us in the end, that we are striving to improve ourselves to serve in the first place? The “church” is the people, as I recall from early bible studies. And we are all God’s family and children, regardless of demonination or familiarity. I am so glad you saw that and gave the woman and her baby the ride she so needed that day.
I am also concerned that you seemed to be having a supernatural experience on your way to church. ” I was raining cats and dogs”
Whew! That must’ve taken a lot out of you!
I think I could manage to rain some mice and gerbils. But cats and dogs? Ouch!
Well, maybe that’s just something you have to build up to?
Thanks for finding an hysterically funny way of bringing a typo to my attention…You are too funny!! and yes, I’m still quite exhausted from the experience. 😛
Just what I needed on this very busy day.
I loved your thoughts here. I’ve found as my world has swirled slower and slower over the years because of physical limitations, I am much more aware of the speed of everything and everyone around me. One of the unexpected gifts of my illness has been this slowing; time to just sit and be with Jesus. I loved your honesty in the irony. Even though my pace is slow, I can still be caught with not being present with those He’s put in my life to love and serve. Thank you for the reminder.
Your courage is always an inspiration Becky…I know so many who would be full of selves in your situation. Thank you for your humble example.
So true about distractions, priorities, etc. May we all take those words into consideration.
Kim, thank you for the inspiration in your posts-you remind me daily of the things that are important in our lives. Thank you
Penny – You are so welcome! I like visiting your blog as well! I especially loved your native American parable!!
Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you for this post. You’ve given me something to think about. 🙂
You’re so welcome!! It was fun checking out your blog too! Hey, my name is Kimberly, do all Kimberlys win your contest?
🙂 Well, I don’t know. That was the first critique contest I’ve run.
I’m just kidding…I’ll look forward to see if you run another…
This is so awesome. 🙂 I’m so glad you picked up that sopping mama and her babe. But most of all, I love that this is the kind of witnessing we provide for our children. It’s not the words we use, but the actions that will make a difference in their lives. I remember this often when I’m with my girl. Last weekend we were driving south for my personal retreat and we stopped at a rest area. There was a homeless gal outside and I wished so much that I had my ‘ministry bags’ in the truck with me! (Ministry bags = soup, spoon, water, crackers, candy, and an encouraging scripture written on the outside) I’ve resolved never to be without those bags in the truck again. And as I was driving away, though, the least I could have done was stop and give her a hug…
I’m glad I picked up that sopping mama too…can you imagine what kind of response I’d have to give to the Father on judgement day? “I’m sorry I left that mother and baby out in the rain, I was on my way to serve you after all…” I don’t think that would have cut it! I love your ministry bags idea. I think I might write a post about it for my other blog..(the one helping widows and single moms with coupons.) I bet we could make bags from coupon purchased items…you are always inspiring me Nikki!
🙂 Thank you for your continued encouragement! You’re the kind of light that keeps me going! :o)
God.Is.Faithful. to all of us…He is good.
Oh, this is so good and such confirmation for the journey that I feel God is calling me to take. I know you put this link in the comments of my blog, but I would love it if you would link it up for Soli Deo Gloria. If you aren’t sure how, I can do it for you. Just wanted your permission first!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom!
I don’t have a clue how to do such things! I would be so honored to have you link it up with Soli Deo Gloria…you are after all, one of my favorite blogs to read! Thanks for all you do!!
I went in and fixed your link. It didn’t quite work how you did it. Next week (because I really want you to link up, click on the title of the post that you want to post, copy it, then paste it into the Linky tools prompt. If you have trouble linking, go ahead and post it in the comments section of my post and I’ll do it for you!) Yay!!
Thanks Jen! You’re a pal!
WOW! I understand perfectly what you mean about the perfect distraction or not being over consumed with work. Sometimes, I think we are too busy with things in life in general and God will reveal this to us.
He sure does MiMi…He will not settle for half of our devotion. It reminds me of an old Keith Green song, To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice…part of it says, “I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights, cause if you can’t come to Me everyday, then don’t bother coming at all.” http://youtu.be/TzWyZxlwGKI
I thought I had read this before, so I went back and checked the date. I wasn’t crazy! But, you know, it was so well-timed for me to read again. I, especially, need to guard against busyness and distractions and trust that God has time carved out for everything I need to do.
Sorry…I didn’t remember if I’d put it up on the link before…You are a blessing..
This is a touch subject here at my house also. But I finally realized that my Father’s business included my family first and not the church first. I had to learn to put my priorities in perspective.
Thank you for this…
It’s definitely a delicate balance.
Very wise words…I have been in this place before, serving ministry over relationship…settling for doing good when God would have us do great (like picking someone up out of the rain). Great post…glad I found your blog 🙂
I’m glad you did too Shelly. I’ll be checking yours again soon!