I don’t remember exactly what I was doing when I was interrupted by the voice coming through the speaker at the bank drive-through teller lane. I just know I looked up with a start when I realized the young woman inside was talking to me.
She called me by name, asked if I needed anything else and then joked:
Next time, maybe you won’t be so lazy! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen you inside, Mrs. Klein! We miss chatting with you!
NOT LAZY. BUSY.
I chuckled with her and shrugged off the comment as I pulled away, but I was immediately convicted. It wasn’t laziness that had kept me from choosing the lobby, it was busyness. My to-do list and timeframe was just not going to allow for an extra minute or two of conversation.
My schedule—to put it mildly—had been heating up for quite some time. It really had been awhile since I’d ridden my bike to the bank or walked over with the dogs, staying for a bit to shoot the breeze.
And that had little to do with the changing weather.
I’d gotten too busy. Again.
And others were picking up on it.
NOT THE ONLY ONE.
In his book Crazy Busy, Kevin De Young writes this:
How did I get this way? How did you get this way? How did we all get this way? I’ve yet to meet anyone in America who responds to the question “How are you?” with the reply, “Well for starters, I’m not very busy.” I suppose there must be a sixteen-year old somewhere out there who doesn’t “have anything to do” and some dear folks at the nursing home who could use a few more interruptions, but for almost everyone in between there is a pervasive sense of being unrelentingly filled up and stressed out.
There’s a bit of comfort, indeed, in being reminded that none of us are alone on the treadmill, but what can we do about it?
My deepest desire is to walk the way of Jesus as I live, work, and play, and I know that somehow that’s connected with sometimes having enough time to actually go in to the bank.
We can do this—NOW.
Is this a busy time for you?
Certainly the Bible has lots to say about time, there is a plethora of time management advice, and many great resources are available to help all of us better live our lives to God’s glory by slowing down. (And be sure to add Crazy Busy and The Christian’s Guide to Busyness to your arsenal!)
But perhaps you and I can begin RIGHT NOW by praying the wisdom of Proverbs 16:9, “A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”
Lord, today, as I plan my way, will you direct me and slow my steps down? I want to have time to park my car and head into the bank and chat with the kind teller behind the counter when you want me to. I want to notice my neighbor. I want you to bring things to my attention. But then I want to have enough margin in my day to do something about what I’ve seen. Will you make my pace and manner and speech a reflection of your peace and your presence? Show me how to practice Sabbath and rest like you did, and renew in me a JOY for living today. Love takes time. Will you help me walk differently than the crazy way the world does? In Jesus’ name, Amen.
~ Pamela Klein, Editor of Walk the Way