Our culture celebrates intensity. It’s a description of having great energy, strength, and concentration. Most of the time, I pride myself on being intense. That’s true at work and in the pool. To win in either of those environments, intensity is required. It keeps me from being distracted and allows me to achieve my goals. At least, that’s what I thought.
Not long ago, I was confronted by a co-worker. She pulled me aside and asked, “Is everything ok?” “yes,” I responded. “I am doing great. Why do you ask?” “you just don’t seem like yourself lately.”
What happened? I was trying to focus. I saw my big goal slipping away and the year was almost over. I dove headlong into intensity.
Today, we have an opportunity to compare my story to Jesus. In Luke 8:40-56, Jesus is approached by a man named Jairus. His daughter is dying. Hearing this, Jesus agreed to go home with him and heal his daughter. Now, don’t forget, this girl is dying. This is an emergency! Call the ambulance, clear the way and get there fast! This requires intensity.
As Jesus and Jairus head off to save the girl, Jesus gets hung up. Not because someone is holding him back, but because he wants to find someone? Seriously, Jesus halts all forward progress saying, “who touched me” (v45). At that moment, she is the only thing that matters. Everything else can wait. Even a dying daughter.
My first impulse is to think that Jesus stopped to heal the woman, but he did not. She was already healed. Verse 44 makes it clear that her healing was immediate. So, what gives? If the woman was already healed, wasn’t his work with her already done? Why would Jesus break his focus here? He didn’t. His focus was and will always be the same.
I falsely assumed that Jesus’ goal was to get things done. That is wrong. Jesus doesn’t care about what gets done. He cares about life. That means that he would never let someone go unnoticed and unloved.
I wonder what the world will look like when change our goals to be like Jesus. What will happen when we decide to see others? What will their world become when we choose to stop and love them? It’s time to stop and see.