12TH JANUARY 2022
1 Sam 3: 1‐10, 19‐20; Ps 40: 2‐5, 7‐8, 8‐9, 10; Mk 1: 29 ‐39
HOW TO MANAGE OUR BUSYNESS
So, what is the significance of the timing in today’s Gospel passage (very early in the morning) and the location (an isolated place)?
Because Jesus had a busy schedule, it was wise to start the day earlier. The Scriptural texts tells us that he got up ‘very early the next morning…’‐ emphasizing the degree of the time he got up early that morning. He did not wait for the other activities to cram each other. Thus, in the Gospel we see Jesus having time to carry out each of his planned activities. Jesus was well organised. He plans his activities for each day. In the text we see that he had already planned his set of itineraries for other villages where he could preach. Therefore, he did not allow Peter and the others’ plans to spoil the important schedule he had.
It was quieter at that time of day‐ thus ideal to concentrate and converse with The Father.
Jesus believed what he preached. He knows that seeking first the Kingdom of God (that is kingdom values); all other things will be added unto you. So, he sought the Father first, before all other activities and believed all other things or activities will be taken care of‐ whether it had to do with the raising of Lazarus from the dead, feeding of multitudes, or preaching, teaching, healing, exorcising demons, wisdom to answer difficult questions; he was convinced that spending quality time with The Father, will enable him to successfully carry out his activities.
His physiology and psychology were alert at that time. He had what I believe was a sound and refreshing sleep. Therefore, he was physically and mentally in a good frame of mind and body‐ to plan his day with His Father.
The location and timing created a serene atmosphere‐ free from distraction. I want to believe where he went to pray and the time he got up; the birds were also rising from their nests; whistling praises to their creator with their melodious songs. This gave Jesus an atmosphere that motivated him to indulge in a deep meditation with his Father.
Using Jesus’ pattern within the context of our busy schedule Now let’s see how we can apply this to our day‐to‐day activities in this our busy world‐ filled with numerous activities; often making us not to manage our time well.
Jesus is saying to us:
1. Start the day early, when you know you have a busy day. This means going to bed early rather than whiling away time endlessly surfing the net, watching the television or spending hours on the phone.
2. Start the day with morning devotion.
3. Choose a quiet place‐ isolated from the distractions you are able to control or avoid.
4. Spend quality time with the Lord at that place. How?
a. A time to praise God with songs (obviously being sensitive to your neighbours).
b. A time to plan your day with God‐ listing down the things you want to do.
c. A time to pray for each planned and unexpected activity.
d. A time to intercede for others‐ friends, family, your community, nation and the world.
e. A time to study God’s Word with a devotional guide of your choice
I am convinced if we do these, we would be able to manage
our busyness better this time round.
We often tell ourselves that we don’t have time to pray and study the Bible early in the morning; so, we carry on with our make‐shift arrangement of using the vehicle we are commuting in to spend time with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading. Something that was just temporary (an exception to the rule) has now become a regular habit in us of being in the bus, your car, to say just two, three words for Christ’s sake (and we say that is a prayer) and glide through your Living Light (or whatever devotional guide you have) to read a verse or two from the Bible (and we call that Bible study). Let us be honest with ourselves‐ why are we are doing this? A simple analysis of cause and effect, will tell us the cause is we go to bed late and the effect will be getting up late.
We need to discipline our body to respond to spiritual matters‐ we should forget those prayers of convenience and Bible readings. Rather as mature Christians, we should engage ourselves more with prayers of commitment and effective personal Bible studies.
We are all busy people in this day and age. But Jesus was quite busy than any one of us. His day was jam‐packed with activities, devoid of modern technologies to make things easier for him. He trekked on foot, no PA system‐ so he had to raise his voice to be more audible to his mammoth audience. Obviously, he would end his day feeling very tired. Yet he found time to get up very early in the morning to pray. You may say because he was God‐incarnate. But we must not forget that he was fully human. He humbled himself to take a fully human nature, with all its limitations. He was not more human than you and I. He did what was humanly possible.
Therefore, we too can do it.