What thoughts come to mind when we think about the word ‘occupy?’ Do we immediately run to the crowd who litter streets with bodies, garbage, signage, and megaphones?
I am all of a sudden arrested with such a terse statement that indicts my worldliness. ‘Occupy’ implies spiritual awareness, and a fondness for what is right, just, and good.
It implies that the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years, are intimately tuned to a Creator and His purpose. Occupy in the simple sense means to ‘engage the attention of.’
In a narrower way, it means to ‘reside in.’ From the Lord’s perspective, it is very possible to be busy as a bee, to be ‘occupied,’ yet, be far from a place of ‘abiding.’
So yes, we can we occupied, and yet be unoccupied at the same time. ‘Abide in me,’ saith the Lord, and here is the secret to a useful life. The Lord wants us to be occupied ‘in Him;’ to have our sights and affections with eternity in view.
Remember Mary and Martha? The doing ‘nothing’ was actually praised, while the busy hands found fault. Sometimes it is good to ‘occupy’ by doing nothing. But we confuse ‘nothing’ with unproductivity, but the mind needs rest. Mary found the better part by sitting at the Lord’s feet, soaking in the word of God.
She set her affections on ‘things above,’ and so was gainfully occupied. She certainly was not lazy, but THEN, her vision was better.
There is a time and a purpose for everything. ‘Occupy till I come,’ is a worthy command.