10th September 2012

Juggling Life’s Demands

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

Should I spend some time in prayer now or what about doing a little study? But there’s a pile of unanswered emails building up, phone calls to return, a friend in hospital, letters to write, my family to think about, bills to pay, a pile of the washing to be done, the house needs cleaning, the fridge is empty, and the lawn needs mowing – shall I just give up, sit down, and watch TV – there must be something on. What am I going to do? 

Should we put our responsibilities in order: 1,2,3,4, God first, then family, church, work, etc.? Having a nice numerical order to help us get our priorities straight and decide what to do would be a simple, painless answer to our dilemma in sorting out the troubling pulls and pushes and demands of life. 

Jesus always put God first didn’t he? But wait a minute. There was a time when Jesus wanted to get away after he got news that Herod had killed John the Baptist. The apostles had also come back from a tour on their own and they’d all been so busy that they hadn’t even had time to snatch a meal. So Jesus took the disciples off by boat to a remote area. But the crowds worked out where he was heading and tracked him down on foot. He could have sent them away. Instead he taught them and healed all those in need. Then as the evening approached he could have dispatched them back to their homes. But instead he first provided everyone with something to eat and afterwards made sure he left the place as he found it, cleared and clean. Only then did he send both the crowd and the disciples away while he retired to be alone with his Father. It meant that he had no sleep as he spent most of the night devoted to prayer. (Matthew 14:13-23, Mark 6:31 -46) 

The Spirit of Christ lives in us, and his is a mind that does not mathematically work out priorities but responds to needs, to the priorities of love at the expense of the personal.  It’s not the easy way. It’s like the difference between arranging a number of balls in a straight line on the ground and juggling them in the air. But there’s one thing for certain: Jesus knows all about it; he‘s done life, he’s balanced all its demands to perfection, and he will show us the way. 

Saviour, you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me through life, now and forever.  (Psalm 31:3)

Study by Hilary Buck

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