Are You Just Too Busy?
“TOO busy! Too busy! Too busy!” That was the response at door after door as a minister called to stir up interest in family Bible study. Some, on previous calls, had accepted Bible literature and even commended the minister on his good work, but they were too busy to stop and give further time to vital Bible discussion. The minister could not help thinking about an illustration given by Jesus Christ, telling about certain ones invited to a special banquet: “They all in common started to beg off.” One had purchased a field; another, five yoke of cattle, and a third had acquired a wife. They were all too busy.—Luke 14:16-20.
There is no doubt about the identity of the host in Jesus’ illustration. One of his listeners had just referred to ‘eating bread in the kingdom of God,’ and Jesus pursued the same topic. (Luke 14:15) Even though those activities of the invited guests were quite legitimate and, in their own way, important, how could they compare with a gracious invitation from the Sovereign Lord of the whole universe? None of us would wish to see ourselves among those of whom the Lord of the banquet said: “None of those men that were invited shall have a taste of my evening meal.”—Luke 14:24.
But how do you stand? Are you too busy to do more than obtain now and then a helpful Biblical magazine and peruse its interesting articles? Are you too busy to make time for serious discussion and study of the Bible’s message for our day? True, we live in times when it does seem to consume many hours to earn a living, to keep a home going, to raise a family. There is so little time for the things a person may want to do. But is investigation of what God has to say in his written Word one of the things you want to do? That is a question you do well to consider.
TOO BUSY TO CHOOSE LIFE?
As busy as many people are today, there are periods of relief from stress after the day’s work. It is possible to make some time for something that really interests you. For example, there may be a favorite television program that you watch. And you probably take time to read the newspaper, perhaps keep up with the latest sports scores. All of these can be a welcome change from your work, but they are merely pleasant diversions, having little to do with the future welfare of yourself and your family.
Just consider. A banquet of life-giving nourishment is what God has spread for worthy ones in our time. (Isa. 25:6-8) As Jesus expressed it: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Again, Jesus declared, while under temptation in the wilderness: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matt. 4:4) But are you too busy to take in that knowledge?
The lives of your loved ones and your own life are at stake! “Taking in knowledge” of God is the way to gain everlasting life. Can you afford to ignore that way? Surely the prize of life is precious enough to warrant your making time to take in this vital knowledge! Perhaps you feel that your attendance at a church service almost every Sunday discharges your religious duties adequately. But does a brief, formal church service really provide enough spiritual food for you to digest during a whole week? And especially in these days when so many clergymen are dispensing with large portions of God’s Word, the Bible, and substituting their own philosophies, it is appropriate to ask: Are you really learning God’s Word by attending church?
No, nothing can substitute for regular discussion and study of the Bible. An hour or two spent in systematic study of Bible topics each week is time well spent. Such study can be refreshing and deeply interesting. And there are immediate benefits: You will be able to explain why you believe as you do; if a parent, you will learn how to bring up your children “in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah” (Eph. 6:4); and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking in the knowledge that leads to everlasting life.—2 Tim. 3:15.
PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
As an artist finds it advantageous to step back and survey the overall effect of his artistic production, you too will gain by taking a good look at the overall picture of your way of life. Where does it lead? What impression do you get? Is it well planned? Are food and clothing and shelter your primary concerns? They are necessities, to be sure, but is it the course of wisdom to push aside that which is vital to your spiritual welfare just to intensify the search after those things?
In teaching his disciples Jesus knew they needed food and drink and clothing, yet he counseled them not to be anxious over them. Why? Said he: “For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his [God’s] righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33) God’s kingdom is the instrument through which God purposes to bless humankind with a righteous new order, whereas this world and its desires and attitudes are due to pass away. (1 John 2:15-17) Knowledge of the Kingdom and its requirements, therefore, is part of the knowledge of God and Christ that we must take in if we would gain everlasting life.
Of course, it takes faith to put material wants in a secondary place in your life. But that is why the taking in of accurate knowledge is so important. And the Bible itself says: “Faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the Word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:17) The life-giving knowledge of God and Christ builds up a strong faith in those who make time for regular study and research in the Bible. Note this fine word of assurance to those who really want the prize of life that God holds out to his creatures: “If you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God.”—Prov. 2:4, 5.
WHEN HELP IS OFFERED
No, it is not enough just casually to read and enjoy Bible aids. You must search and study in order to attain to the kind of knowledge that leads to everlasting life. We are fortunate to be living in the time foretold by God’s prophet when ‘the true knowledge would become abundant.’ (Dan. 12:4) This is now God’s time for the secret things of God to be revealed to eager searchers. (Matt. 11:25) If you are aware of your dependence upon God for a happy future, you are in line to be blessed by his message. But how?
Consider the experience of a traveler on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. He made use of his travel time to read a portion of the Hebrew Scriptures, but he was puzzled as to the meaning and application. God then directed one of his witnesses to approach and offer help. “Do you actually know what you are reading?” he asked the traveler. “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” was the reply.—Acts 8:26-33.
As in those days, so even now God has his witnesses on earth whom he has enlightened about his Book of truth and whom he has equipped to teach people of all kinds who are willing to learn. When they call at your door and undertake to aid you in your study of the knowledge of God and Christ, and that without obligation, why not accept the offered help? Make time for a regular study of what the Bible describes as more valuable than rare metals.—Prov. 3:13-18.
TIME TO ACT
Back in Noah’s days the earth’s population was too busy with the ordinary pursuits of life, materialistic aims, “eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage,” too busy to take note of God’s warning message. What was the consequence? “The flood came and swept them all away.” But what has that to do with the situation today? A great deal, for Jesus went on to say: “So the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:38, 39) Is it not, then, time for men and women who have up till now been just too busy with the ordinary affairs of life, to act for their own protection and that of their loved ones? It surely is.
The warning message like that of Noah’s day has now been announced by Jehovah’s witnesses for almost fifty years. Numerous evidences have piled up in these “last days” showing fulfillment of Bible prophecies that mark this as the most crucial period of history. The Witnesses have been warning about the “war of the great day of God the Almighty,” now at hand. (Rev. 16:14, 16) They have been inviting you to share in the study of spiritual things that mean everlasting life to those partaking. Surely it is time for you to act!
You have enjoyed the Bible helps that the Witnesses left with you. You may have expressed commendation for their constancy in the Bible education activity. Do not lose out. That feast to which you are invited is available to those who respond NOW! It is time to busy yourself about the vital matter of survival for yourself and those you love. Make God’s favor and approval your foremost business.