By Scott Atteberry, Executive Director of DiscipleGuide
I need to buy groceries.
The yard needs mowing.
It’s time for an oil change.
My son wants to be with me.
I take him to the gym.
He waits on my haircut.
I haul him around town on errands.
My son wants to be with me –not just around me.
We rush to church.
We rush back home.
I take a nap.
He plays alone.
My son wakes me up with a gentle tap. He still hasn’t given up on me.
“Dad, will you play with me?”
I have a paper to write.
I need to catch up on my to-do.
I brought work home from the office.
A million times before I have said to myself, “if I can just finish this project/paper/errand/task/nap, I’ll have more time to focus on him.”
But the truth is, life never stops. The busyness only gets busier.
In Luke 12:22-31, Jesus teaches us about the Father’s provision in a busy, demanding world.
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
If I believe that God is really sovereign over all things; and if I believe that He makes perfect provision –even for the birds and the plants; then surely I can trust that He will make provision for me.
Jesus is very clear: you can be free from the busyness and anxiety that keep you from kingdom living. You don’t have to keep up with the rat race. The funny thing is that no matter how hard we try, we never get ahead!
Instead, for those who are willing to seek first the kingdom (v. 31), God will make provision to handle the busyness.
That doesn’t mean you will never have to make another trip to Wal-Mart or have to mow the yard. It simply means that when you seek the busyness first, kingdom work rarely receives the attention it deserves. But when you focus on kingdom work first, all “these things will be added to you.”
For me, my first order of kingdom work is being a godly father and disciple-maker to my Son. God has entrusted him to me.
Recently a good friend shared a short, simple phrase with me: Be here now. It simply means that wherever God has placed you, He gives you the grace and provision to live fully in that moment taking advantage of kingdom opportunities. It means that when I am with my son, God has given me the privilege to focus on him and “be here now.”
It reminds me of something Billy Graham’s daughter said when a reporter asked her how she dealt with her father’s extensive travel and time away from home. She said something to the effect of, “Its no problem, because when he is home, he is 100% home.”
In the same way, I can imagine that Jesus never told the apostles, “let’s take a day off –I’ve got to do some catch-up work,” or “you guys stay quiet while I run in the store.” Instead, Scripture paints a picture of Christ as always being 100% focused and invested in His present company.
So the next time the empty refrigerator and the long to-do list are competing for the attention I owe to my son, I have the wonderful liberty to choose to be here now. God will provide for everything else.