My roommate and I have a close friend whose dad died recently. We found out about two days after it had happened and rushed over to his dorm to see how he was doing. He was just sitting there…all by himself. Turns out we were the first people who had stopped to just sit, be still, and mourn with him. And it had been two days. He’d gotten a few text messages saying, “I’m praying for you.” Text messages…really? His dad just died.
It’s in moments like those that you wonder where our priorities are fixated. Education, projects, careers, hobbies, and the like become our focus. None of those are bad things to spend time on. We could probably even make a case for most of them being “our calling at this moment in life.” How dangerous it would be, though, to categorize them as our entire calling. I don’t know that a more egregious mistake could be made.
When you realize that people simply don’t know to stop, be still, and be there for people when they’re needed, you have to wonder if we really understand what life is all about, what our purpose is. Because it’s when you understand your purpose with the utmost clarity that you don’t allow anything to get in the way of it.
And so it is with Christ throughout the Gospel of John. Here’s someone who understands what his purpose is. Countless times the phrase “my time has not yet come” is uttered, referring to when Jesus would allow himself to fall into the hands of the Jews and Romans to be crucified. In chapter two at the wedding feast in Cana, Mary implies to Jesus that he should help out with the shortage of wine. He reminds her that his time has not yet come but helps anyway. Now, the Bible says Jesus came “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). So…it wasn’t time for his crucifixion yet, his ultimate purpose. Doesn’t matter. He sees a need, and he stops and takes care of it. He sees people, stops, and shows them love.
And in this realization, Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:2 become more poignant than ever: “If I …can fathom all…knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
I wonder what it would take for us to readjust our perspective, stop, and be there for what’s truly important…