Mark 6:34: “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
Have you ever felt rushed? Hurry seems to be an epidemic in US culture. Everyone is rushing here and there. Trying to get lists done and appointments completed. Unfortunately, we pass on this syndrome to our children by encouraging them to participate in every activity. Soon, they are running around ragged, and we are running, trying to keep up.
I’m not pointing fingers. Goodness, I rush everywhere. I have my calendar planned out for the upcoming week, detailed down to fifteen-minute increments. I need to be this scheduled so that I can have time for my family in the middle of funerals, counseling, sermon preparation, community events, lunch meetings, etc.
So, yes, I am fully submerged in the “hurry” lifestyle.
Being busy is not a bad thing, necessarily. What is bad is when busyness, or hurry, takes over and we forget our real priorities.
There have been times when I have barreled through my to-do list, rushing from one event to another, and someone stepped into my schedule that I did not plan. Inside, I am frustrated because I have so much to do, grumbling because of the weight of “hurry.”
Then, I remember Mark 6:34 and become convicted.
Jesus was going through a busy time of ministry. He and the apostles were tired and were seeking some rest. On the way, he met a crowd of over 5000 people. He could have been irritated and frustrated because they were not in his appointment book. He could have snapped at them and told them to leave, to come back another day.
Instead of all those feelings, he had compassion for them. He realized that the people in front of him were more important than his schedule. He shared with them God’s love and God’s truth, in addition to feeding those 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
With Jesus as our example, we should embrace every opportunity to step away from our schedule and interact with people. Perhaps it means regularly going to church on Sunday. Perhaps it means chatting with the cashier or the bagger. Perhaps it is allowing time for important conversations with our children.
Whatever it is, may we slow down and have compassion.
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Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ