Routinely, I hear people tell me that they cannot be a part of a Bible study, small group, Sunday School or other event because they belong to a group that meets at the same time or they engage in some other activity which they feel takes precedence. Others say that their life is so busy with family, work and housekeeping chores that they cannot squeeze another ounce out of their day.
When I hear these things, my mind goes to the schedule that our Savior kept. During his lifetime, Jesus would have traveled to Jerusalem from Nazareth three times a year for feasts. This would be a round trip of about 240 miles by foot. By the age of 30, this would be around 18,000 miles. Then, during his ministry, He made around nine trips to Jerusalem as a devout Jew to fulfill all the feast days. His teaching and healing ministry was taken to Samaria, Galilee and Nazareth. Therefore a rough estimate of his travel each day would roughly be 15 to 25 miles. Many of His travels from place to place are listed in Scripture and some are probably not recorded, but the point I am making is that when we think we are busy we must consider the Lord Jesus Christ. There were numerous times when Jesus was exhausted so what did He do?
Our Savior made time to get away and spend time with His Father. He was refreshed by the time of prayer He enjoyed. Luke 5:15-16 tells us: "15But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray." We can assume that He grew weary after long days of meeting the needs of so many. After all, He was fully man as well as fully God.
Another example comes from Matthew 14:23: "After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone," Again, Jesus sought refreshment by spending time alone with His Father. Not only was He taking time to rest His physical body but He also was setting an example for us to follow in spending time with God. Other verses in the Gospels echo this same practice of Jesus getting alone with his Father in heaven. Somehow, during the hours He spent walking, healing, teaching, Jesus found time to be refreshed in the presence of God. How much more than should we take the time to be at places where the Word will be preached so that our souls will be nourished? Don't we need spiritual food to keep us going?
When we say "yes" to something we want to do, we are also saying "no" to other things at the same time. The problem is that we are saying "no" to the very reason we were put here on earth. God wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son which will bring glory to His name, but this is hard to do when we are off fishing, golfing, or attending other events. To put it another way, we have to deliberately set aside time to spend with God and fellow believers in the pursuit of His truth at Bible study or in small groups.
One of the biggest fallacies we often tell ourselves is that we have plenty of time for that later. Right now, we need to relax, kick back and take it easy doing other things. But no one is promised tomorrow. We may live for many years or we may be gone tomorrow. Only the Lord knows the length of our days. At best, our time here is short, and we need the food of life that will provide the strength we need for the busy lives we lead. Instead of looking for excuses as to why we cannot come aside with the Lord as Jesus did, we need to make a way in our schedules to sit under the teaching of God's Word. This is what will produce the fruit of righteousness in our life when we make time for the truth. Remember: "Only one life twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last" (from a poem by C.T. Studd). Selah!