And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. ESV 1 Kings 20:40
It seems we are all busy. From early morning to late at night, so many things constantly demand our attention. We hurry to wake up so we can hurry through our workout so we can hurry the kids on the bus so we can hurry to work so we can hurry home so we can hurry dinner so we can hurry to bed…. Sometimes in all the hurrying, we lose the very things we are working toward.
Ahab, the king of Israel, had an opportunity to strike down his adversary, the evil king Ben-Hadad of Syria. Instead of taking advantage of this opportunity, Ahab let him go and made peace. In the verse above, a prophet comes and confronts Ahab through a metaphorical story. In the story, the prophet was asked to keep a captive, and instructed that if the captive escaped, he would pay with his life. He pleads to the king that “as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” He lost the captive he was called to guard. The king rightly agreed with the original sentence: the man must die because he failed to keep his captive. The prophet then confronts the king with the reality that Ahab allowed Ben-Hadad to escape when God had delivered him into his hand. I find it interesting that as we are busy here and there in life, we often lose the very thing we were entrusted with. Perhaps it’s the soul of our kids. Perhaps it’s our marriage. Perhaps it’s opportunities to share the gospel. Perhaps it’s simply opportunities to be with God and enjoy Him.
What are you rushing through today? Weigh these things against what truly matters. Don’t miss the best things in life as you seek survival. You never get this day again. If you need to take time to reconnect with God, do it. If you need to pour into your marriage, don’t wait until tomorrow. If you need to adjust your finances, by all means do so. If your kids need you (not your money, your chauffeuring, your maid, butler and cook skills…) then give them your undivided attention. Don’t allow the busyness of life to cause you to miss what really matters lest you be like the man in the story who suddenly realized…he was gone.