There is a song titled Mind My Business, which has become one of my personal anthems to calm me down when things feel chaotic.
The past three years have felt as if the world was a large cassette player with the pause button pressed or on slower speed. This past holiday season came, and the world suddenly sped up. There was an expectation to accept every invitation—from holiday parties to brunch to after work gatherings. With the expectation to be “present” at every function, go to work, and manage to take care of adult life, judgment and condemnation are sometimes close behind if you decline or need to reschedule. The reality is, while we were on a pause, or slower speed, our priorities changed. We learned to value quiet time, engage with old or new hobbies, and embrace a slower pace in our lives. We drew closer to ourselves and God.
Honestly, this new pace in our “return to normal” feels more chaotic than I remember.
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds his disciples how they should think about their enemies by not judging or condemning them lest they be judged and condemned. Our friends are not our enemies, and invitations are not extended as ill will. However, judgment and peer pressure are the enemy when we do not value or respect our friend or loved one’s new pace of life. We do not always have to give an explanation if declining an invitation or need to reschedule. In today’s language, it is not everyone’s business what you do with your time.
Jesus also reminds them to give, and gifts will be given back to you. What if you joined a friend or loved one for their daily walks one day? Gathered a small group for dinner once a month to lovingly listen to them or be listened to? Would the gift of their full presence be more grace-filled than their hurried and distracted presence? What gifts might you receive?