This week has been incredibly busy with work and family obligations. So much has been planned for this week that I feel like there has not been much time to breathe.
When life gets busy, I do strange things. I drift. I lose focus. I stare at the wall. Afterward, when everything is finally accomplished despite my drifting, I end up feeling mad at myself because I did not plan my time well and because I neglected other important obligations in my life while I strove to get other things done.
Such is life. All of us are busy. More often than not we flood our lives with so much to do that we become overwhelmed. If you look at my desk this week, you’ll see that I am hardly qualified to tell you how to manage your time or to simplify your life. So consider Brother Lawrence, a lay brother who lived during the 1600s and loved to talk to God while he went about his everyday tasks in a monastery kitchen.
Here are his words:
“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
Brother Lawrence became so adept at this discipline that his story “The Practice of the Presence of God,” said that “he was more united to God in his outward employments than when he left them for devotion and retirement.”
Isn’t this how life should be? Shouldn’t we concentrate on learning to talk to God and commune with him in the midst of our circumstances?
Setting aside time for rest and concentrated prayer is certainly essential. Jesus shows us this by example in the gospels and if doing this was essential for the Son of God to accomplish his task, then it is important for us as well. However, the example of Brother Lawrence shows us that during the busyness of life we can live confidently, knowing that God hears us everyday. All we need to do is talk to him.