“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Calendars, organizers, appointment books, daily planners. We all have them on our phones, our computers, our desks, our kitchen counters. We schedule everything. Appointments, visits, lunches, dinners, anything, and everything that fills our days and nights. For some of us, if it’s not on our schedule, it doesn’t get done.
It all comes down to being busy in this life. Busy with people, busy with events, busy with a multitude of things that we convince ourselves need to be done. In the Old Testament Tabernacle, the high priest would burn incense when he came into the Holy of Holies. He would do this burning twice a day, each time offering up two large handfuls of the aromatic substance. The result was a cloud that filled the Tabernacle, making it difficult for the priest to see. And that was the very point. The priest was supposed to be protected by the cloud of incense from seeing the glory of God. The thought was that the priest might not live if he saw God’s glory in the Tabernacle.
So, the cloud was really a sort of cover-up that distracted him from God.
I think perhaps our busy schedules might do the same thing for us. Sadly, we can very easily distance ourselves from God by creating busyness in our lives. We know our church needs workers to help in the nursery and children’s ministry – but we’re too busy to take on the responsibility. We know we should be in bible study more often – but, you know, we’ve got that thing we need to do. We know we should pray more – and we’ll try to get to it – if we have the time. We know we should read our bible more – but our favorite program is on. We know we have a friend who is having a rough time in their life – but, we just haven’t the time to spend with them right now. Perhaps our lives are filled with so much incense that we are clouding out Christ and can’t see him as clearly as we used to. Perhaps our cloud of busyness has been there so long, that it’s choking out our spiritual sensitivity.
Interesting, in the New Testament following the Resurrection of Christ, there is no reference to the use of incense in worship. No cloudiness. No distractions. No commands to be busy. No reference to full calendars and busy schedules. So, perhaps it’s time we all take a long hard look at those calendars and schedules that run our lives, especially during this “busy” holiday season we are entering into this week. Perhaps it’s time we stop the madness of busyness, sit down before the Lord, and have a nice long talk with him about what really matters in life. Perhaps it’s time to stop the madness of busyness in our lives!