Recently I have been reflecting on what I have been spending my time on in the past several months and asking myself questions about whether or not I have been investing my time wisely for Christ. Scripture that came to mind was from Luke 10:38-42.
"Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.' And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'"
When it comes to serving Christ there is more than one facet. Yes, there are times to serve and physically be busy for the Lord, but there are also times to "sit at His feet" and seek to know Him. Have you ever found it challenging to know what it is that the Lord will have you do and when? I know I have. A thought that has helped me is that if I am in tune with the Lord, and if I am seeking Him daily through His Word and prayer, then I generally know what it is that He would have me do. If, on the other hand, I have been so busy running to and fro under the guise of serving Him that I have not made time to be still and seek Him, then I often begin to get confused about what it is He would have me do. It would be safe to assume that that in each season of life our first duty to serving Christ is to spend time seeking Him in quiet and keeping our hearts in tune with His, and then serving as He leads.
Another thing that came to mind was the times when I will say no to someone because I do not have time for them or their need because I am "too busy doing the Lord's work." Now, obviously there are times when we should say no. Even Jesus did not bow to every one's beck and call (Mark 1:36-38). But, at the same time, are there times when I say no because I am too busy just being busy? Sometimes it is so easy to get wrapped up in doing, that we do not take time to listen. For example, your friend's house is damaged by fire and you have headed up a team of volunteers from your church to help rebuild your friend's house. You are so focused on doing this "good deed" that you brush your friend aside when he approaches you and tries to share his heart with you about his grief over the loss of some letters from his father that were priceless to him. You have to get that roof up, and you do not have time to listen.
A balance that I sometimes find hard is getting so wrapped up in the act of serving that I forget the hearts and spiritual needs of those I am serving. They become objects of service instead of breathing and feeling individuals who have emotional and spiritual needs.
God places us in circumstances for a reason. If we are on an elevator with complete strangers, or if we are in a roomful of old friends, He has placed us there for a reason. There are no random chances in life. Maybe your ministry is just to smile, say a kind word, or open a door. Maybe it will be sitting down and just listening. Maybe it will be offering advice. Maybe it will be physical labor. The trick is to not overlook the people in effort to meet a project deadline or goal. We are to tend His sheep (John 21:16), to share the gospel (Mark 16:15), to bare each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2).
There is so much more to serving the Lord than physically serving. Let us not lose sight of serving in the sometimes mundane and less glamorous ways. Let us not think that the only real service is preaching the gospel on the street corners, yes, surely this is a big part of our calling as believers, but it is not all there is. Let us not think that being cloistered away in our little closets studying His Word and praying is our mission either. There is a balance that must be maintained. We should take the time to seek Him daily for direction, and from time to time reflect and re-evaluate. We should study the life of Christ and module our service after His.
Serving Christ is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Just because others serve Him in one way, does not mean that is the way that you are to serve Him. You probably knew this, as did I, but sometimes I just need a reminder. Being a servant of Christ has many facets that often change within each season of life, and while neither is better than the other, there should always be a balance between serving and being still.