He reminds me that if I am too busy for time with Him and for the people He puts in my path, something is
I was jittery. I had a long to-do list waiting to be accomplished, and people kept interrupting me. On my way to my desk, a colleague waylaid me. I listened politely as she chatted, but in the back of my mind I was plotting out a piece of writing with an imminent deadline. Finally I sat down at my computer, and just as I opened a document, my phone buzzed with an urgent message. A friend needed to talk. Did I have a few minutes? I sighed, wanting to help, but also wondering if I would ever get through my assignments. I had even rushed my prayer time that morning because I had to get on with the busy day. Surely God would understand. I was working for Him, after all.
Slow down, came a thought, piercing through my irritation. “Look at these deviations to your plans as God’s divine interruptions.” Convicted, I closed my computer and picked up my phone. As I messaged my struggling friend, a couple verses flashed into my mind: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40, NIV). And: “For we are co-workers in God’s service” (1 Cor. 3:9, NIV). These were striking ideas. What if God’s intent for me that day went beyond my to-do list? What if He wanted me to work with Him to impact someone’s life in that moment? Would I trust Him with my time?
I have often struggled with placing more emphasis on tasks than relationships; God then has to correct the balance. He reminds me that if I am too busy for time with Him and for the people He puts in my path, something is wrong. It does take faith to let go of my plans and trust God with my time and tasks, but that’s part of letting God realign my priorities.
I look at the example of Jesus. No matter how in demand He was, He took time alone with His Father (see Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15, 16). He reacted to apparent interruptions to His day with grace and love. For example, He stopped on the way to Jairus’ dying daughter to heal and speak with a bleeding woman. He compassionately taught the crowds that pursued Him while He was trying to spend time with His disciples (Mark 5:21-43; 6:30-34). Ellen White comments, “[Christ] accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps.”*
That’s a challenge for me: to watch for God’s unfolding plans in my day. I don’t want to be deaf to God’s invitations because I am too preoccupied with my own plans. I want to be so connected to God that I welcome His divine interruptions to my day.
Sometimes there are more important things than my to-do list.
* Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 479.