Here and There

There is a perfectly obscure verse in the Old Testament that many of us should probably mediate on,
and possibly even memorize.

Do you sometimes feel overly busy?

Do urgent needs often overtake truly important needs?

Does all the stuff that just has to be done sometimes take priority over conversation with people?**

Are you a person of good intentions? To plan a great date with your spouse? To take each of your children out for some special one on one time? To send a sweet note of encouragement? To actually go to coffee with that friend that you often tell, "We should go to coffee sometime"?

In the book of 1st Kings, a servant was given the role of guarding a man. The servant was told "life for life" so it must have been a pretty important job.

Can you guess what he said when he was asked about the man he was supposed to guard?

"While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared." (I Kings 20:40) 

What?? The servant was given ONE job to look after ONE man and he got so busy "here and there" that the man got away?

He made excuses. He was busy, probably doing servant stuff. But being busy is really no excuse at all. He was given an important job to do and he failed.

Take this story and look at it from a personal investment point of view.

Who has God entrusted to you to guard, to love, to invest in?

Your husband or wife?
Your children?
Friends? 
Someone to disciple and mentor? 
Someone with a specific need? 

Are you so busy with the urgent tasks that demand you to be "here and there" that your "man" is going to disappear? Can you distinguish between "here and there" and what Jesus has actually asked you to do? Often the most difficult place of discernment for me is in the beginning. There are so many great things I feel like I should be doing, even for God! But, my heart really longs to do the best things for God, and the best often means stepping away from seemingly good opportunities.

God, please teach us to not be so busy and distracted with here and there that the people you have entrusted us with get away. May your word be alive and active in our lives as we grow in our understanding of giving an account to you for what you've asked us to do!


*Interesting and ironic side note: As I was trying to write this post, my 12 year old son plopped down on the couch next to me to tell me about all the awesome stuff he's learning about Parkour. The true confession is I sometimes dismiss moments like this as distractions and I started to ask him to tell me later. Kyle appreciates irony so I told him the topic of my writing. He smiled, grabbed my hand, and excitedly continued to tell me about jumping off buildings and flipping over picnic tables. Times like this are precious. God, please give me eyes to see opportunities with those I love before they get away. 



21 comments:

  1. Oh wow, thanks for sharing this! It's amazing and I'll certainly try to keep it in mind!

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  2. God has been reminding me that I'm supposed to be doing less and this is a perfect reminder of why. When I am not busy I am able to focus on what matters, and have energy and time to pour into my family and friends. Thanks for the encouragement that God has me right where I should be.

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  3. this COULD NOT be any more timely for me at this point in my life.
    thank you, God, for directing my steps here today, and you, angel, for being willing to share your heart!
    xoxo

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  4. In the past two weeks THREE women have totally stood me up. They just forgot me! Everyone's schedules are so packed and it is not the programs or work that gets shoved aside but people and relationships. But I am not perfect either and feel tired (well, I am recovering from a major surgery so there is a reason for it) but also pulled in many directions. Not always 100% clear on how every detail of my life should look. But I am clear on not wanting to lose my husband or one of my children, in particular. Really good post.

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    1. Wow, Krista! I'm so sorry you were stood up three times! That makes me really sad. I pray that the experience only leaves you motivated to love and invest deeply in relationships. Praying for you today!

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    2. Thank you. I don't feel bitterness or anything (only b/c I've been spending lots of time in the Mercy Triumphs Bible study, probably) but it was shocking. And yes, I see that and it reminds me even more that people and relationships are soooo very important. Far more valuable to me than programs, hobbies, making money.

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  5. great post. timely and needful. thank you.

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  6. So interesting you wrote about this. I've been thinking a lot about the Martha /Mary story lately and didn't know why. This gives some clarity. I need to give my time an honest look to make sure my relationships are not getting put to the side, especially my relationship with Jesus. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. discernment at the beginning... :) we're at the cuspe of a whole lotta new beginnings right now. having this heart check is pretty darn timely. thank you for the reminder to seek out God's BEST over GOOD.

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  8. Parkour is awesome - you should share this scene from "the office" with your son - it's pretty funny.

    http://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/parkour/1158445

    Your words are perfect - thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Jason, the video is so funny. I can't wait to show it to Kyle. Secretly I'm hoping he will give up this obsession before he breaks an arm. :)

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  9. Way to go on "branching out"! :) As always (since I first met you like twenty years ago) you have challenged me to do a better job of showing God's love to others while staying focused on glorifying Him with my life. I so appreciate your heart and commitment to God and your family first and then those you serve. Thanks for your post.

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  10. I followed the link from your blog and I'm so glad I did. Unfortunately, I feel like that servant that let the man get away. I pray that I can recover and turn things around.

    Thank you,

    Sophia

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  11. Angel your words as always are so perfect and timely. I'm not sure I tell you that often enough!! Thank you for sharing and for the reminder to put our relationship with Jesus first and to be obedient to where God is asking us to serve or not serve. Love you friend!!!

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  12. Thanks so much for the reminder! I've been learning just that this week. Truthfully, probably relearning as I'm a slow student in this aspect

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  13. Oh, such a great reminder packed in to something that can be so easily overlooked. And this came at such a great time. I must pray for discernment to figure out where my "here and there" is in order to put my heart where it really MUST be! Thank you for sharing this.

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  14. I needed this reminder this week! As I try to find the balance in all that I do--all good stuff--I have realized that the thing I push to the side are relationships. Working at remembering that not everything has to be done "just so".

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  15. Angel, you have been such a blessing to me since I began following your blog a couple of weeks ago! God often brings messages that relate to things I'm living, and your message here does exactly that.

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  16. Angel, you have been such a blessing to me since I began following your blog a couple of weeks ago! God often brings messages that relate to things I'm living, and your message here does exactly that.

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  17. yes, yes, and yes. There are so many people who need us more than that other "stuff"!

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