In the last several years I’ve been noticing how completely overloaded people’s schedules are. They work crazy hours; their kids work crazy hours. Their personal calendars are out of control and their family calendars are utterly insane. I’m still trying to figure out how everyone’s not violating physics as they’re getting their children to soccer games, dance lessons, SAT tutors, swim meets, judo classes, choir rehearsals, violin lessons, etc. And, that’s just the low-achieving families! (Kidding!)
I get the sense from conversations I have that most of us have become part of some kind of rapid reaction force, just waiting to face the schedule-tsunami that comes hurtling our way each day — where the daily goal is to SURVIVE! And, perhaps carve out a few minutes for ourselves along the way…
So. Really. Who wants to live this way?
Have you ever noticed that, in all the stories about Jesus, he’s never in a hurry? With all the things he does—preaching, healing, teaching, working miracles—he never seems rushed or stressed out. What does he know that we don’t?
Jesus once told followers to seek first God’s kingdom, and everything else will get pretty much taken care of. Now, this was a fairly radical thing to say to a bunch of poor people who were wondering where their family’s next meal was coming from, but for some reason, they seemed to believe him. So much so, that they followed him wherever he went. Apparently he was on to something!
The apostle Paul was getting at the same thing when he wrote this to the Roman Christians:
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:31-32, 37)
So, what would it mean to take Jesus seriously on this one?
What would it mean to live as if God’s kingdom were more central to our lives than all the so-called “important” things that drain the life out of us: all the expectations that come at us from school, work and everywhere else?
Think about it.
Jesus promises that, as you orient your life around God and his priorities, you and your family can actually enjoy a higher quality of life than you would otherwise. That you can do more than just survive life. That you can actually thrive in the tsunami! Sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what Jesus is promising those who take him at his word.