Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders

Don't let the rapid pace of life today rip you away from what's really important.
Guest Columnist

After returning from a recent ministry trip and giving myself a day to adjust to the time change, I took some time to reflect. The meetings had been wonderful, and I felt fulfilled to have been used by the Lord to bless others. I sat at my desk and began wading through the volume of faxes, letters and notes that had arrived in my short absence.

It was time for the monthly meeting I host along with my three brothers, Judson, Robert and Jim Cornwall. So I put everything else aside and prepared. The meeting was glorious and once again I returned home, satisfied to have been a part of bringing help to God's leaders. But now it was necessary to repeat the process of answering mail, returning phone calls and jotting notes to my secretary so she could do her job.

As I sat thinking about my weariness and dread, I tried to console myself with the knowledge that everyone is busy these days. There just never seems to be enough time.

I've preached many times about the days in which we live. I believe time is, in a sense, going faster. It just doesn't seem right to me that I can no longer find the time to enjoy many of the blessings the Lord has given me.

I have a beautiful yard, and I used to love spending time in it with my two dogs. But now I look longingly out the windows of my office as I say no to their pleading for my attention. My hammock sits idle, and books I want to read "just for fun" are on the shelf, unopened.

Shamefully there are days when even my prayer time is regimented so that I can do what is expected. Studying isn't a joy, because I must push to have a sermon for the next meeting and have no time for exploring new ideas that would be "bunny trails."

And then there are the seemingly endless routines such as paying the bills or scheduling appointments for hair and nail care. All of these things take precious time out of a day.

Am I really that busy? Is this the plan God has for me? Or, God forbid, am I more of a busybody than a busy body?

I love the Lord with all my heart and soul, and I want nothing in life more than to please Him and fulfill my calling. I don't see myself as a meddler in other people's affairs. However, I do see that I have allowed others to dictate what they determine is important for me to be involved in.

Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say about busybodies. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 reads, "For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies" (NKJV). In Thayer's, "disorderly" means, "deviating from the prescribed order or rule."

This definition does not infer that one is defecting from service, but that one is not staying in the place of their assignment. The curse of being a perfectionist will cause us to do far more than is really required of us.

Thayer's defines "busybody" as "working round about instead of at one's own business; taking more pains than needed about a thing and wasting one's labor." To deviate from the Lord's direction in order to please others is to take on a burden which is neither light nor easy.

When we apply His wisdom to our daily living, there will be time enough to enjoy Him and all the blessings He has shared with us. Some things that will have no effect on eternity must be left undone.

The Bible says that the harvest is ripe and the laborers are few. I wonder--Is that because so many have worked themselves out of the field?

I ask Jesus to keep His watch of my time, so that I will be available when He needs me.

Busy? Yes, always. Busybody? I hope never. Iverna Tompkins is founder and president of Iverna Tompkins Ministries, a leadership training ministry based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is the author of several books, including All in God's Time (Creation House).

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