I have a tendency to be a busybody. I think it comes from a childhood where I had a jam packed schedule. Then I was a college athlete. Then I was in medical school and residency. My life has always been busy and time management has been something I have lived by since I was a child. Time management and being able to survive a busy schedule is a useful skill. It allows you to be more successful and accomplished but it is not necessarily biblical.
One of the sources of my mental illness and struggle with anxiety has been this tendency to be a busybody. For I know how to work hard, manage time, be efficient but I do not really know how to stop, be still and rest. Jesus actually address this very issue when he went to a home with 2 women. The first sat at his feet listening to his teaching while the second made herself busy with service. Jesus praised the first and reprimanded the second.
Handwork, giving and service are important but should be an outflowing of the heart not due to obligation. But of equal importance is receiving, resting and listening. This is something I have had to learn as an adult. It has actually required professional counseling and medications to teach me how to stop. For before I received treatment it was not that I did not want to stop, it was that I could not make my mind stop.
In our modern world we often go into professions or are forced into professions that make us busybodies. We often do not feel like we have a choice. For we may have to choose between quitting our job verse enduring a busy schedule. But I believe that it you stop long enough to ask God to give you a way to rest with him he will provide. For he has a way of working around our modern busy schedules when we stop long enough to ask him to make a way. For me God is providing the answer by allowing me to stop working for a period of time.
I have struggle with feeling guilty for not working or contributing more but this passage in Luke reminded me that the guilt I feel is not from God rather my own false perceptions of what God requires of us.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42