“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Are we too busy to love other people, to busy to genuinely ask, “How are you?” and then listen patiently for a response? As I read through the gospels, it seems like Jesus was never in a hurry. But we seek to hurry our ministry, to hurry our loving–so we can check it off of our lists and feel good about ourselves, about our Christianity.
But God calls us to be truly present to those around us, not to everyone, but to those he brings along our paths. I am not saying we are not called to love those in other parts of our city or country or even those across the earth. Often, we send our love to those far away through prayer and giving. We send an emissary, it could be a missionary to them in the name of Jesus. Sometimes God calls us to go in person to Judea, Samaria, or the uttermost parts of the earth. And if he calls us to do so, we dare not disobey.
But if we are failing to even love those around us, to be present, because we are too busy, are we really obeying Jesus’ command to love one another?
Of course loving others means we will take the much needed Sabbath rest and daily moments to commune with God. But if we are always running here and there, always over committed, always exhausted –just plain too busy to love–that means there is something intrinsically wrong with how we are living.