The Art of Minding One’s Own Business
Nosy people are annoying.
Perhaps you have one, two or a few of them in your life. Perhaps you succumb to nosiness from time to time. Fact is, we probably all do.
In today’s Gospel (John 21:20-25) Jesus rebuffs Peter’s question about the ultimate fate of John. "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me” is his response, prompting Peter to spread the rumor that John would not die.
Therein lies the problem, or at least one of them, when it comes to nosiness. It begets rumors, which can short-circuit the long term goals and prevailing mission of the task at hand.
But in addition to this observation and subsequent truth, there is another key item to observe here. Jesus’ response is rooted in the promise of eternal life, the union of divinity and humanity, and the call to follow him. Everything else, particularly those matters pertaining to the Earthly world, are merely details.
Jesus had a mission for Peter, and he needed Peter to focus strictly on this mission, not the fate of John or anything else that might have deterred or sidetracked him from being The Rock upon which our church would be built, and thus tending his sheep (John 21:16).
Similarly, Jesus has a distinct mission for each one of us and it’s imperative that we too abstain from ruminating over what someone else has or what they do. It’s far better for us to lock in on how we can best serve Jesus and his Kingdom in our own unique way.
Only Jesus can fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts. The things we see that others have can’t really satisfy us. Neither can their status or their callings or their gifts and talents. Only Jesus can truly satisfy us. With our gaze fixed on eternity and our efforts firmly fixed on and dedicated to our own mission in the Kingdom, we can fulfill our potential and carry out God’s plan for us and those we encounter.