Last night at our community vision night our speaker Tyler Miley taught us that the sense of stress & anxiety grows as the distance between our responsibilities and our capacities grow. Finding the right balance for life in order to reduce that space and to find our individual and even seasonal balance is essential.
I was reminded me of another reflection I had on the growth of the church in Philippi. In Acts 16 we hear about a business woman named Lydia:
13On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15She was baptized along with other members of her household, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
Lydia was a business woman.
She ran a household. And was clearly influential — she created the space for others to hear the Gospel and respond.
Her expensive purple cloth business was likely quite successful and connected her with the upper levels of society.
As there was not a synagogue in Phillipi (it required 10 Jewish men) they had a place of prayer.
Lydia was probably a busy person. But her pattern of life created the space for thoughtful engagement with God. Her pattern of life was influenced by the Sabbath and she created space for rest. Her pattern of life included her extended family and community so she created space for support. Her pattern of life had margins so she was able to extend hospitality.
And now God had opened up her heart to Jesus and brought salvation to her and her circle of influence. She says, “I am a true believer in the Lord.”
I wish we could observe in the Scripture what the pattern of her life looked like in the days following her baptism. But this thought remains with me: to think I’m too busy for Jesus misses the mark.