“Good . . . good . . . busy . . . really busy . . . but good.”
Those are my standard responses when people ask me how I am. And every single time the conversation ends and we part ways, I ask myself, Why did you feel the need to tell them you were busy, in the midst of also being good? And every single time, I vow to not do it the next time someone asks me how I am.
I usually still do . . . .
We all do, really, because in our go-go-go, uber-productive, constant-movement world where we measure success in how much we’ve done in the past few hours, busyness is next to godliness. Step aside cleanliness, busyness is the new king of the castle.
I fall into the trap daily: what I’m doing and how much is on my to-do list are what seem to determine my value and worth, my influence and place in the world. I’m consumed with it—this deep desire to always have both something to do and somewhere to be—and if I sit still too long, I begin to worry that I’m unimportant and insignificant.
I imagine Jesus may have felt the same way sometimes, especially during His “busier” seasons. All those healings and all that preaching—so many people to heal, like Peter’s mother-in-law in today’s Gospel, and the throngs of crowds constantly seeking Him out.
But even in the midst of His busiest days, with a to-do list a cubit long, Jesus still found time to slip away from the hustle and bustle and to pray.
At the start of His day, in the quiet and the calm, Jesus made time for prayer. He made time for the Father. He made time to go to the deserted place and listen. He made stillness his priority, in the midst of His busyness.
Do we do the same? Do we make the time to pray, set aside a moment of quiet and calm? Or do we cling to the calendar, get lost in the inbox, brandish our to-do list, thus ignoring the One Who longs for us to slip away to a deserted place with Him?
It is only when we do make time with the Lord our priority—setting things aside, and taking intentional moments to be with Him—that we are able to then say: “Good . . . good . . . busy . . . really busy . . . but good,” not because the busyness is good, but because He is.
Go back and sit with today's Gospel. Read it over again and see which lines strike you. Ask Our Lord to meet you in those lines.
Katie Prejean McGrady is an international Catholic speaker and author of three books with Ave Maria Press. After working as a theology teacher and parish youth minister for six years, Katie now travels full time across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., speaking about faith, culture, family, evangelization, discipleship, and the best way to order a flat white. She is the project manager of Ave Explores, an initiative of Ave Maria Press, and the host of the Ave Explores podcast. She and her husband Tommy host the podcast (The Electric Waffle), have a dog (Barney), and a 2 year old (Rose) and live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Find out more about her here.