Too Busy for Relationship?


The Lord’s Prayer is about relationship from start to finish.

"Stop and consider God’s wonders." (Job 37:14)

Increasingly, "relationship" goes by the board in our busy world. Some are just too busy at work, too goal-oriented, to be bothered with people and relationships. That takes time; and time is money! Others are just too afraid of relationships, perhaps because of how they have been let down in life. Yet relationship is the very heart of life, the very heart of prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer, that we’ve been looking at together, is about relationship from start to finish. That’s why Jesus begins the prayer by looking to God as "Father." Prayer isn’t some religious duty or spiritual exercise; it is honest, heart-to-heart sharing between children and their father – and a perfect, heavenly Father at that.  Because prayer is all about relationship, we need to develop that relationship; and that means learning how to slow down, how to close the door to the busyness of life so that we can "stop and consider God’s wonders."

The story of Martha and Mary brings home the importance of stopping. Jesus and His disciples had been invited home by Martha; but having invited them, she then got "all flustered" as she became increasingly anxious about preparing the meal – while Mary just sat at Jesus’ feet listening to Him. Martha became so annoyed that she eventually asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:40-42). Martha needed to learn that relationship takes time, and that means knowing how to stop. For as we stop (even for a few moments in a busy day), we are giving God an opportunity to refocus our hearts on him as our Father who cares and provides.

What about me? Am I like Mary, who stopped? Or like Martha, who was too busy to stop, too busy for relationship? What is the "one thing" (v. 42) that governs my life?

I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.            (Psalm 131:2)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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