ONE THING IS NEEDED!(A reflection on the busy-ness of life)

“you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed…” (Luke 10:41-42)

I’ve been a bit swamped this week with assignments becoming due. How the time flies by when one is occupied with the day-to-day business of life. At the time of penning this post, we have been in Adelaide for 5 weeks. I’m amazed at the different forms that the hustle and bustle of life can take.

Samantha, my dear wife, often reminds me that there was a time when life was much busier than what it is now, for us as a family. We reflect on the time back in South Africa, when we would rush out the front door as soon as possible after 6:00 am in the morning in order to beat (or at least attempt to beat) the morning traffic rush into the city. (We both worked for a financial company at the V&A Waterfront). We’d knock off at 4:30 pm in the afternoon, then sit in traffic till almost 6:00pm. Running our  own Real Estate company on a part-time basis, we would have to squeeze in a viewing of a property (or two) that was on our sales list. Once completed, we’d head straight for church, where I served as Associate Pastor, to set up for that evening’s Bible School session, cell group, youth or prayer meeting, depending on which night of the week it was. The house we lived in became very much a place only in which to sleep. There was minimal time to simply kick back and relax.

Those days are far behind us now. However, the busy-ness we now face is a different type. We don’t have to rush to beat the peak hour traffic – I step out my back door and I am on the Seminary grounds where I’m studying. Samantha is homeschooling our son, so there’s no rush to get him to school on time. Yet a level of busy-ness exists. Studies, assignments, marking of Liam’s school-work (by Sam). Sure, it’s a busy-ness with a very different face from the one it had back in Cape Town, but busy-ness nonetheless.

How easy it is for the days to slip by meeting deadlines, etc. How easy it is to somehow justify it all, and in the maze and haze of items on the to-do list, lose direction and sight of the more important things in life – family, heart-to-heart talks with one’s spouse, playful banter with one’s son, times spent in the presence of the Lord, just waiting and listening what He has to say. We rush out to meet the demands and battles of life, at times without even getting our “briefing” from Heaven’s HQ, or without being equipped with the necessary “battle armament”.

I think of Mary and Martha in the Bible (Luke 10:38-42) on the occasion that Jesus visited their home. Martha: rushing about busying herself in her endeavour to serve the Master. Mary: taking time out to sit at the Master’s feet and to be served by Him, hanging on His every word – words of solace for her sorrows, words of healing for her hurts, words of hope for her hopelessness!

Was Martha wrong to be so occupied? Of course not. But was there something more important that could have been done? I think so. Jesus says to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed…”Luke 10:41-42.Nothing sinfully wrong with the “many”, but certainly not as important as the “one thing”.

Friend, we live in a busy world. There’s much to be done; much that demands our attention. You are not in the wrong for being busy, or occupied by the “many”. However, the voice of the Master is softly and tenderly speaking into your busy-ness: “one thing is needed”. Can you hear it, amid the noise, the din of daily tasks? “One thing is needed”!Take a moment (or longer) to make the time (notice – not find the time. Time is ever-elusive) to tend to the “one thing” that is needed.

You cannot keep running around in the heat of the noonday sun! It will scorch you sooner or later. Take time to sit in the “shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). He is “the shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5). In times of confusion and lack of direction, stand still for a moment, and you will hear that still small voice saying: “this is the way, walk in it!” (Isaiah 30:21).

The loving Saviour still says: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:2

Find rest in Him, Dear Friend!


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