“Those sown among thorns…are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.” (Mark 4:18-19)
In explaining the Parable of the Sower, Jesus says the seed is the word of God. Some seed falls among the thorns, is choked, and bears no fruit. Jesus explains that there are many kinds of thorns – worries, ambition, wealth, recognition, position, possessions and busyness, to name a few.
Busyness, as much any other circumstance, makes the word in many of us unfruitful. We rush to get dressed in the morning and have our breakfast before we rush to work. At work, there is often more to do than the time available, so we rush from one task to another. After work, we rush to take our kids to practice or a sporting event. We then rush home for dinner because we have a meeting after dinner at church, school or some other place, or we need to help the children with their homework, or we have a brief case full of work.
Even when we are not in fact being rushed, we have a sense of being rushed.
All of this rushing crowds out God. Intimacy with him is sacrificed. The noise of busyness keeps us from hearing the whisper of the Holy Spirit and understanding the Spirit’s call each day. Notice that Jesus says the outcome is that the word in us becomes unfruitful. The rich guidance of the word goes unused. Jesus’ desire for us is just the opposite – “I chose you and appointed you to bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
Life will always have its demands. Do we let these demands choke out God’s word and presence in us, or do we invite him to join us in their midst? I used to pray a lot in hallways and elevators as I went from one meeting to another, acknowledging God’s presence and asking him to go before me. There seemed to be more fruit when I did and less when I didn’t.
God’s presence is available to us in the midst of our busyness. Offer up your schedule to him at the beginning of each day. Remember his words, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
Does busyness choke out your relationship with God – spending time with him in prayer, reading scripture and seeking his will in your lives?