Sometimes I pretend I don't have time. All the tasks on my to-do list are incredibly important.
I'm too busy to answer that email. Too busy to help my neighbor—anyway, I don't even speak Spanish. And I can't give my wife a hand—too much to do. I've got a meeting. I've got to get the sermon posted. I'm blogging. Terribly important, indeed.
Then there's Jesus.
When his cousin and friend John the Baptist had just been beheaded, Jesus tried to go to a lonely place to mourn, but the crowds beat him there. He healed their sick and he served them all dinner. Only then, in the evening, did he get a chance to be alone. And even that was interrupted (Matthew 14:10-25).
Another time when he was alone praying, Peter sought him out to let him know everyone was looking for him (Mark 1:35-39). He did not respond at all irritably. Perhaps that seems like no big deal, but think about the meeting that Peter broke up when he interrupted Jesus. When God and his son are talking it is more important than any conference call or international summit we can imagine. Two beings whose job is to create and maintain universes are consulting with one another—and they don't mind little Peter breaking in with information he is convinced is important.
Even when his life was on the line, Jesus had time for other people's problems.
When someone threatens to kill you and you don't think it's quite time to die, escaping will jump to the top of your task list, won't it? It did for Jesus, but he still let himself be bothered by others' urgency:
The Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all. (Matthew 12:14-15)
It would be like if your pastor was willing to stay up front after a service and pray for you, knowing there was someone in the building waiting around to shoot him.
Isn't Jesus wonderfully peculiar? Everything he does is infinitely more important than what I do, but every time I interrupt him, he pays attention. Nothing prevents him from loving us. During immense sadness at his own loss, he made sure others were happy. When he was in the most important meeting in the world, he listened to a nobody. And when he was fearing for his own life, he saved others' lives.
He always had time and he always will, and I don't feel very busy anymore.
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