Mark 1:18 NKJV “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
Recently I have begun reading through the gospel of Mark again, which I would highly suggest for everyone to do whether you’ve read it before or not. A characteristic term which occurs with great frequency in Mark’s Gospel is the Greek word Eutheos,” which is variously translated “straight away, immediately” etc. The Bible translation I am currently reading uses the English word, “immediately”, and I was surprised to learn that the entire book apparently uses the word forty-one times!
Why would this young author feel the need to use that word so often in his writing?
Though the word does not always mean “just then,” it serves to propel the narrative forward with speed and urgency. The root of this word may actually highlight Mark’s intention in using it so often: it means to do things properly and without allowing for detours. Strong’s Concordance says, ”straight from point A to God’s point B.”
I’m also trying to keep in mind that ultimately all writers in the Bible were subject to the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so any urgency we detect is God encouraging us not to delay, and any expedience we notice is meant to be noticed.
This week I was reading a blurb for a teaching video that a church had posted online when these words jumped out at me…
“Life is full of things demanding our immediate attention. Whether it’s our kids, our friends, the media, or our phone screen, it’s easy to become consumed with the “urgent” on a daily basis. But in our efforts to tend to the urgent, are we neglecting those things that are truly important?”
And this is the question that is rolling around my head…where is my “immediately” focused right now? Do I feel a sense of urgency for the right things? Are there distractions present that are currently pulling my attention to less important but still time-consuming matters?
I heard someone say that, “Good is the worst enemy of Best”! Sometimes it’s those good things we allow ourselves to get consumed with without ever digging a little deeper to know if those are actually the best things to get the healthiest amount of our focus and energy. So much work may be good in regards to getting bills paid and debt reduced, but did I neglect the extra time that could have been invested into my kids favorite activities or hobbies? Should I have made a little more investment into rekindling the romance instead of those excessive time commitments with my hobbies? Would could have happened if I had shared a cup of coffee with a coworker in need of a friendship when I really wanted to just stay in and veg out with some Netflix consumption?
There are so many options on the table in front of us everyday to choose from with our time and attention. Which ones we reach for will ultimately be dependent on where our sense of urgency lies. With every good intention, there will be a world of possible distractions to pull our focus away.
The Apostle Paul promised us in Galatians 6:9 NKJV
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
This week, let’s guard against the detours that cause us to veer off course.