I really enjoy reading something that jogs my thinking and challenges my heart. This morning I picked up Daily Office by Peter Scazzero (a companion book to Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) and read John 7:3-8 where Jesus is getting pressure from his brothers to make himself known at the Feast of the Tabernacles. Jesus chooses to wait. Scazzero said, “Jesus moved slowly, not striving or rushing … He waited patiently for his Father’s time during his short ministry. Why is it then that we hate ‘slow’ when God appears to delight in it?”
For me, that is a great question! Those that know me would say that I get a LOT done. And quite frankly, I enjoy getting a lot done and I like to do it quickly. Hmmm …
Scazzero references Eugene Peterson to answer his question:
Why is it that we hate “slow” when God appears to delight in it?
- I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and the heavy demands of my time are proof to myself and to all who will notice, that I am important—so I develop a crowded schedule and harassed conditions. When others notice, they acknowledge my significance, and my vanity is fed.
- I am busy because I am lazy. I let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself. It was a favorite theme of C.S. Lewis that only lazy people work hard. By lazily abdicating the essential work of deciding and directing, establishing values and setting goals, other people do it for us.
As I was processing this, I think there is something deeper at work here. I believe that a third reason exists. I am busy because I am lonely. I fill my day with worthy causes so I don’t have to feel the pain of being alone. I’m more comfortable working alone than with others because I grew up in a context where work was valued over relationships. Standing and talking was not acceptable. Working and talking was somewhat better as long as it didn’t hinder the work. Working hard and putting all my concentration into the work was praised.
Yet, I know that we were created for relationship. Adam had his work but he still felt the pain of loneliness. So, God created a relational one for him.
Lord, help me search my heart. Make my head connect with my heart. Let my love for you praise YOU for the way I am made. Let me not seek busyness to “prove” myself. Instead let me embrace and rejoice in how you have knit me together. Let me not hide behind others, letting them do what YOU created me to do. Do not let my work fill the loneliness and replace relationships.
Lord, give me eyes to see and a heart to understand. Let me live more intentionally, connecting with you moment by moment throughout the day and hearing your heart and your love for everyone I meet.