“When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, “Come, the banquet is ready.” But they all began making excuses. One said, “I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.””
Luke 14:17-18 NLT
One of the problems for all of us, since we all have a tendency to procrastinate, is ordering our priorities. The problem is that the most pressing or potentially rewarding priorities usually win. What’s the point of attending a banquet when I can be making a worthwhile investment that will secure my family’s financial stability? Surely God understands good stewardship? He invented it, for goodness’ sake. Here’s a classic collision between finite and timeless ambition.
I’ve commented many times on how easy it is for the instant gratification monkey in my mind to redirect my steps away from my prayer rhythm with what appears a very logical and practical ‘now need’. The problem is, before I know it I am always being directed away and my heart intention to consider God and his ways is hijacked, to the degree that I never actually pray. How many of us have every good intention to nurture our friendship with God yet, if we’re honest, at the end of each day, life has directed our steps in alternative directions?
Life got in the way of the most important summons these banquet invitees ever received. It wasn’t that they intended rudeness, they simply prioritised something over God’s invitation to party, which is another way of describing prayer. It’s challenging that decisions most likely taken in good faith raise such anger in the party host. So others are dragged into the banquet, much to their surprise, and they get the benefits of the fine food.
None of us can flourish fully in life if we fail to feed from God. We need to process the ups and downs of life, find rest for stress-filled souls and recover perspective for busy work and family lives. The banquet, or prayer space, is as important to our well-being as any trip we may take to the GP for our physical health.
What distractions impact the way you prioritise your time?
Lord, reveal to me the excuses that I make to not be with you.