Thursday, April 23, 2015

Are you busy?

The morning started; my do-list, the guide for the day, in hand. There was precious little room for error.

Breakfast with my friend--check.
Off for some fun--planned in advance--check.
Necessary errands--everything running smoothly. Phew.

And on the day went. 

That evening nine gathered around my dining room table. I was ready. The do-list worked.

But the thank you note received a few days later communicated more than the penned words. My friend spoke of what a gift the dinner was. Hmmm, I don't remember the gift--it was the next on that carefully crafted two day old do-list.

I didn't even snap a picture that night (me who loves to record everything with more than memories). And that might have been the most telling.

YES, I am busy! 

Busy, physically there, and not present! Ouch.

Understanding and conviction came via David Benner's words from his book, Sacred Companions.

"Soul hosts prepare for their gift of hospitality by cultivating a place of quiet within themselves. It is out of this place that soul friends offer their gifts of presence, stillness, safety, and love. Although I often try to pull it off, I know that I cannot really be present for another person when my inner world is filled with pre-occupations and distractions." (pages 46 & 47)

Busyness does not foster presence.

"Real people require real love if we are to give a gift of genuine presence."        (page 49)

That evening I deprived my real friends of my real presence and real love distracted by my real do-list.
________________________________________________ When Chris innocently voiced her question, are you busy, her meaning was, Sue, are you living in your desires? Is your time filled with your passions? Her question was kind and caring; she was inquiring about me.

My answer, oh yes, was totally true. And yet in the busyness of living out my passions something went awry. Busyness interrupted presence. And joy slipped away.

"As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand." The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it--it's the main course, and won't be taken from her."
Luke 10:38-42, The Message

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