Summary: Managing our time
Many of us are finding it difficult to cope with the 24 hours we have, to carry out all that we have planned for the day. This is true of activities at home as well as at our work places. No wonder loads of work have been done on time management in order for us to be effective or efficient.
The Bible gives us a guide on a number of subjects and I am bold to say on every subject including time management and Jesus- the Way, the Truth and the Light has shown us how to manage our time in this our busy world. This will form the basis of today’s talk, which I have titled: ‘HOW TO MANAGE OUR BUSYNESS’. I mean BUSYNESS and not BUSINESS. A caption I borrowed from an article I read the other day. How can we manage our busyness in this our busy world? - is what I want us to look at.
It is my wish and prayer that at the end of the day, all of us (including myself) will be able to emulate Jesus’ pattern in managing a busy schedule.
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT FROM A MODERN PERSPECTIVE
I want us to examine the text Mark chapter 1 verses 29 to 39 and I will major on the last 5 verses. My operational verse will be verse 35. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) of the Bible puts it very nicely- ‘Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray’. Take not of the adverb there- VERY. We shall look at that later.
Let us see if we could capture the various scenes in the text in a vivid way; from the perspective of today’s modern world.
Jesus had just finished conducting for his newly recruited staff of Peter, Andrew, James and John an induction programme, through a practical demonstration, at a synagogue. It was now time for them to have some lunch or dinner. Since there were no ‘take-aways’ or fast food shops, they had to trek down Peter and Andrew’s place.
On arrival, they were welcomed with the sad news that Pet’s mother-in-law was down with fever. No ambulance to take the poor woman the A&E. But thank God there was a doctor on call (the great physician- Jesus). He immediately administered an anti-pyretic by holding her up- her body temperature instantly normalized and she began attending to them.
On their to-do list, Jesus had a healing and deliverance crusade and they got prepared for it; the venue was outside Pet and Andy’s house. It was a jam-packed and break-through crusade and when everything ended, news about the outcome of the crusade spread all over. In the evening newscast that day, the breaking news was the crusade, with the head line- ‘A Carpenter and 4 Fishermen Turned the Town Upside Down with their Signs and Wonder Crusade’.
Jesus believing in the principle and practice of ‘early to bed, early to rise’ left these guys on the sofa where they were reclining and chatting, for his guest room to rest. Pet and others had their one time business colleagues in the fishing industry chatting heartily in the sitting room. One of them saying to Andy that it was good they folded up their company i.e. The Capernaum Fishing Company Ltd, to join Jesus; as many other fishing companies had gone into administration because of the credit crunch.
Jesus’ body clock had got adjusted to getting up early in the morning. So as the cock crowed, he was up from bed, refreshed himself and off to a quiet and isolated place to pray.
Once there he poured his heart to God. He may have been saying:
‘Father, I place into Your hands
The things I cannot do.
Father, I place into Your hands
The things that I’ve been through.
Father, I place into Your hands
The way that I should go,
For I know I always can trust You.’
Words and Music: Jenny Hewer
Whatever were his prayer points, he spent what I believe was a quality time with The Father.
I better stop here so far, as I have added too much to the story. Now let’s see what we can learn from the passage.
APPLYING THE TEXT TO OUR SITUATION
Let us look at Jesus’ typical working day. On his to do list was his usual busy schedule of commuting from place to place. He did not bother to get one of the posh means of travelling; as he was a real community worker (a grass root man), coming down to the level of the ordinary people- where his charity did some social actions. In fact his charity (that was 100% donor driven) could not afford to give him a vehicle all the time for his social action work. But he could only afford a FORD vehicle, i.e. Feet On the Road Direction. He legged it and sometimes using a canoe to cross rivers- going to places on foot to preach, teach (i.e. to do community sensitization work/awareness raising sessions) and other social action jobs among the sick, demon possessed and a host of other people. Despite his usual busy and hard schedule, he chose to get up very early in the morning to talk to The Father. We all know that he was God- ‘God from God, begotten not made and One being with the Father, through Him all things were made…’ as we say in the Creed. His divine nature did not stop him from communing with The Father. He deliberately chose to get up very early in the morning- looked for an isolated place to pray.