Confessions of a Busy Body (Luke 7 Woman: Diary Entry #10)
Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here.” Luke 7:44
Jesus drew Simon the Pharisee’s attention to the kneeling woman who was wiping his feet with her hair. The entire crowd watched as she sat before the Lord. To the Luke 7 Woman, nothing mattered more than Jesus in this moment. She was fixated on him alone. Simon on the other hand, was busy hosting. Everything had to go as planned. No disruptions or surprises. He saw the woman and thought about the nuisance this uninvited guest had become. How dare this woman come here and disturb Jesus as she had? And more, if he were the prophet that he claimed he was; he would know who she was. She’s just lying there. What use is she?
Jesus answered the thoughts of the disgruntled host as his loving gaze fell back to the woman resting at his feet. While Simon was busy entertaining guests, checking the food, keeping the wine chilled, making conversation and relighting candles, Jesus, the guest of honor (whether Simon knew it or not) had gone ignored. Simon’s plan for the evening had nothing to do with sitting at the feet of Jesus. I’m sure he simply invited Jesus to interrogate him about being the Christ. Jesus’ invitation was also based on him being the latest subject of town chatter.
Simon’s personal agenda kept him from resting. He was so busy trying to accomplish and go, go, go.
There are times when I feel a rush of overwhelming angst. It’s a feeling of unrest. A spontaneous pressure disturbs my thoughts and begins “You’ve got to get this done. Now! If you don’t make it happen, it never will!” My heart races. It seems, as if, I have an attention deficit. Focusing becomes a chore, and I’m uninterested in everything. To paint a better picture, it feels like my soul is searching for something and I have come to my wits end. I’ll turn on the television, surf the channels then; turn it off. I’ll begin to work on a project, put it away, then grab my phone. Grabbing the remote again, putting my phone down to peruse social media once more. I get antsy. I create ideas of things I need to accomplish. Goals that need to be achieved so that I can feel like something is getting done. I need to feel like something is finally getting done.
Rest= being unproductive to me. Resting at the feet of Jesus requires a copious amount of trust in him. The Luke 7 Woman trusted him with everything. Trust says that I do not have to be involved in this process. It says, “I know for certain that the task will be completed without my help or supervision”. There is nothing you need from me (accept a willing heart) to get the job done. She knew that she could rest peacefully at his feet and he would do what needed to be done. For me it is not as simple.
Rest=nothing is getting done. I understand that these equations sound absurd.
I must confess something. It is a habit that I am not proud of. I must be honest. Sometimes I preoccupy myself with busy work so that I can feel like I am accomplishing something. Why do I do this? I do it because I have prayed for things in my life and God has yet to answer them. Being busy and staying busy is the only way I know how to cope with the disappointment. It makes me feel like I have control over something. I love being in control. Surprises aren’t my jazz. I like things to be planned out carefully and all items must be approved by me, first. But the gag is? God doesn’t work that way at all. He’s more concerned about his plans than mine. Sometimes this concept is difficult to swallow.
What makes the uncontrollable things intolerable? Lack of trust. I have my own personal agenda. I have things that I know in my mind I want to do and start. God has his own for me. Unfortunately, he does not lay those plans out for me to read and approve. (Geesh!) Two agendas, only one will prevail. I can’t keep working on my own plan and still be available for God’s.
In my prayer time, I have been asking God what I should do. His answer for me has been the same. Rest. Being antsy, creating projects and staying busy is not going to get me where I need to go with God. The more I thought about it, the more I saw myself in Simon. He was so preoccupied with getting things done that he missed the opportunity to embrace the treasure that was in his home. He had a chance to “get proof” that Jesus was the Christ; had he not had his own personal agenda. Those trust issues, pondering if this Jesus was who he said he was, could have been wiped away.
How can I rest at his feet and get the restoration my soul needs, if I’m making other plans? What does rest look like? It’s as simple as cutting a few things out that distract you. I have to ask myself questions like, “Is this a good thing? Or a God thing?” Sometimes by just filtering my life through practical questions I have an opportunity to weed out a lot of behavior that disrupts my availability for God.
This week, my prayers have been asking God to help me be intentional about resting and surrendering. I have been asking God to give me the grace I need to surrender my personal agenda and allow his will to be done. I’ve also been asking for the grace to trust him more. This is a continuous process; old habits die hard. It isn’t an easy task. However, I pray that with his grace more of his agenda will be done than my own.
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