Yes, I get it. Life is busy.
There is always something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to see.
We lose ourselves in work — the 9 to 5, the side hustle(s), the mini home renovations, the hubby or wifey, the child or children, friends and family, the sleepovers, the get-togethers, and all out turnt parties because why not? The professional certification, masters and PhD program. Why not throw in a new Rachel Ray inspired desire to be a top tier chef, or let’s get a little wild; a race car driver because you have decided that now is the time to be among the greats like Mario Andretti. Of course there will be date nights, and travels, happy hour and gosh dang it, the gym.
Also, there is this dreaded new age disease that folks of modern times have to grapple with. So if you are like me, you have experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) induced breakdowns at least once.
In this organized chaos, there is barely enough room to breathe, let alone have quiet time. In fact, I dare you to remember the last time you took a full breath.
You may have a treasured simple name like John, or a jazzy name like Apple, or an iridescent name like Lumina, or an African name that at first glance seems to be all the alphabets from A-Z like Omoiyebagbe Ogooluwa, but for the sake of this post, let’s call you Martha.
Luke 10:38-41 tells a story of two sisters, Martha and Mary.
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home, but was busy and distracted with all her serving responsibilities. The TPT translation says, but Martha became exasperated by finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests. The NCV translation says, but Martha was busy with all the work to be done. Here is the thing, Martha was not wrong for wanting to be a gracious host. But sometimes, there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death |Prov. 14:12, NIV|; death in all its finality, or death in the form of burn out, a mental breakdown (depression/anxiety disorder), or stress related ailments (headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease).
Martha was stressed out, and expressed her frustrations. Homegirl felt a way, and can we blame her?!? She probably had a few unsavoury words ready to spew out at Mary for her blatant lack of interest in helping, and honestly I probably would have been in the background like yup! you know that’s right! Go on girl, tell her!. But Jesus said in the most loving way, Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? |vs. 41|
Could Jesus be saying the same to you?
As appreciative as Jesus was of her efforts, he had to remind her of what was (is) important. We need to prepare for life, everything that will clamour for our attention, and pull at us from different directions, in a place of rest, so that we can respond to life (and all its offerings) from a place of rest. Rest is priority, and it can only be found in God.
My favourite verse since the start of the year is Romans 12:1, take your everyday, ordinary life— your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life— and place it before God as an offering. Yup! including all the church activities you’ve roped yourself into (some of which you probably should have said no to).
God knows that life is busy, but He does not want you to get caught up. Especially not at the expense of living a full, fulfilled, vibrant, productive and rested life. He wants to pull us away from the Martha syndrome, into Mary’s revelation. Jesus said, Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her. The NCV translation says, only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her |vs.42|.
The goal (for me anyways) is to leave this earth empty, not live life on empty.
Life is only going to get busier. There will always be more to do, and more to see. But for the sake of our sanity, let’s choose God first…everyday.
Dear Father, thank you for being so gracious with your words, and your presence. Through your words, I know that you are always with me. Help me lean into your words, so that I may find rest in you. I know life will only get busier, and so I am asking for grace for each new day. I want to be at my best, so that I can give and serve at my best. But I know I get in my own way, so please help me prioritize. Today, I choose you first, and I trust you to lead me, even in the seemingly small details of my life. Help me invest myself, and my time wisely. I declare that today, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.