Not many people will ever remember what life was like before the microwave oven. The microwave changed America. We became a fast food/microwave society in the 40s and 50s. America stopped sitting down to the dinner table and having conversations with each other about life. The pace of our society took off like a rocket during this generation. This is what the average family meal looks like in America today.
The microwave allowed us to cook a meal in 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes. We could do stuff much faster. As a result, we stopped allowing our schedule to shape our lives. We started allowing our lives to be shaped by our schedule. It’s not the microwave oven’s fault, it’s our fault for trying to live a meaningful life with a microwave schedule. Deep meaningful conversations take time. They take energy. They don’t happen in an instant. In other words, you can’t microwave deep relationships- they require a slow cooker
The greatest commandmen
Did you realize that you can’t microwave your relationship with God? There is no fast-forward button on your spiritual journey with Jesus. It takes place one step at a time. I think Jesus had something like this in mind in Luke 10:27. This verse describes what Christians refer to as the greatest commandment. God wants this more than he wants anything else from his people. Jesus suggest in this verse that your relationship with God should be the single most important part of your life. You should approach this relationship with all of your mind, all of your energy and all of your body. I think Jesus would also suggest, this relationship with God will take time. It can’t be done in an instant!
Why don’t we give our relationship with God the same amount of time on our schedule that we give other things? At its root, the problem with the great Commandment is a heart problem. We inherited from our first ancestors, a tendency to worship ourselves. That means we want to spend more time and more energy on ourselves than on anyone else- including God! The heart of the problem with the commandment is a problem of the heart.
Our greatest challenge
You are probably already smart enough to figure out the real challenge. How do we live in a microwave society with an overbooked schedule, and still have a deep relationship with Jesus? This is perhaps the single greatest challenge of followers of Jesus in our society today. The greatest commandment will inevitably lead to our great challenge today. How do I find the time to give God the attention he deserves?
Who hasn’t opened their calendar lately to try and find white space (free time) to do something that you really want to do and know you that you should be doing anyway? I think this is the backdrop for the story that Jesus tells in Luke 10:38-42. There are two women living in the same house. They are both experiencing the same challenges- lots of stuff needs to get done around the house, but there’s not enough time to do it.
Have you found yourself in the same place as Martha? You want to give Jesus more of your time but you’re looking at your schedule and can’t figure out how that’s going to be possible. Have you asked the question, “How do I live like Mary when I have a Martha calendar?”
How this can change you
Every challenge also presents a great opportunity. This was a chance for Jesus to talk about a fundamental heart change. Allow your heart to fuel your schedule not your schedule to fuel your heart.
Here’s a couple of simple steps to start to make real changes in your schedule:
- Make white space on your calendar- If your calendar is so busy that there is no white space left… make some! Delete an event from your schedule and leave that time open for Jesus.
- Follow Jesus until your heart changes- If you feel like your heart is starting to grow cold to Jesus sacrifice something big on your schedule for Jesus. Allow the time for your relationship with Jesus to develop until you start to want that relationship deeply.
- Learn at his feet until you don’t want to leave- Once you’ve started to experience that depth of an intimacy with Jesus – stay there until you don’t want to leave.
That’s when you know you’re giving Jesus the time, energy, and attention he deserves. I believe when you start to spend time with Jesus like Luke 10:27 commands, you’ll start to have a desire for him like Luke 10:42 demonstrates.