A few weeks ago now, I mentioned I would post my word for the year on my blog. It’s sixteen days into the new year and I need to publicly post the word, mainly because I keep hearing the word over and over again. It’s been mentioned in sermons and by people in conversation enough for me to start thinking, "God, I believe you are telling me something and I need to really listen." He’s been saying the same thing for a long time. What’s my problem?
People wonder if God speaks. Indeed he does, the real question is whether or not we are listening. In 2007, I started to feel the weight of having way too much going on. So much so that it was hard to focus on anything and I just felt tired all the time. Push. Get this done. What’s next? Not another one. After awhile, I started feeling angry and frustrated – mainly at myself. Why do I keep doing this? I’ve been down this route plenty of times before, taking on project after project. Each one depleting me of energy.
God didn’t shout. He whispered. I finally heard him just like Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-13). It sounded awfully familiar. "Child, what are you doing?"
By now you may have guessed the word. Keep reading, this might be for you too.
Fill in your name in the blanks below.
"_______, _______," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. (Luke 10-41-42)
Jesus gently directed this scolding to a woman named Martha, who made the mistake in getting caught up in doing and doing. There’s nothing wrong with serving others or being a good worker bee, but when that’s your focus – it becomes really easy to — well just lose it. I can almost see Martha with her hands on her hip, rolling her eyes and with a tone of pure attitude in her voice.
"But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40, bold added for emphasis)
Can’t you relate to the frustration in her voice? I know I could. Still, Jesus stated, " Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her (vs. 42)."
According to Jesus, Mary had her priorities in order. She chose NOT to let anything or anyone distract her from her Lord of Lords.
PRIORITY - Something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives (Merriam-Webster).
What was on your list of priorities last year? Were they really that important? I wonder how Martha felt after Jesus scolded her. We don’t see her reaction. I imagine a silent cry or a good ouch leaked within her soul. I know it does in mine, right now as I write this piece.
See it’s my own fault. I know where I went wrong. Now. Funny, when you are doing, you don’t contemplate crashing. Kind of like one day going to work last summer, I never imagined being in a car wreck. I had tons of things on my mind. It was God’s grace (and me being on His mind) that the angle of the crash was not more serious because the other’s driver SUV was so much bigger than my little Corolla.
God is so much bigger. Isaiah 55;9 says, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts".
He’s gracious in the details of our lives, but we get in the way adding unnecessary things on our to-do list or saying "yes", when we know good and well, we should have responded with a solid "no". Sometimes staying in constant motion is all about something else entirely. The busyness might be helping to keep us bond by our denials and puny attempts at false peace. Whatever the reason, having an out of control schedule is a ploy of the enemy and big "no-no" for living an authentic Christian life.
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. By this time, I would have given up on these empty promises anyway. In 2008, I do want to step out of being a "Martha". This does not mean I’m going to stop being productive. But… in order for me to grow on a spiritual level … I need to walk in Mary’s sandals. It doesn’t matter what size sandal she wore – we all can fit into her role just fine.
When Mary’s Savior arrived in her home, she walked over to him, sat by him, listened to him, and gleaned from him. He was her first PRIORITY.
HAVING TROUBLE GETTING FOCUSED OR SORTING OUT YOUR PRIORITY LIST. STAY TUNED IN THE COMING WEEKS FOR A NEW SERIES FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS.