This summer I am journeying through the book, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver with a group of ladies at my church. It is within the pages of this book we are learning more about the importance of just sitting still. Joanna makes us think about the things that take our focus off of Jesus. She points out that we get caught up in the obligations of life. We get so caught up in life to the point we fail to spend time with the One who loves us and longs for fellowship with us.
Before our session began yesterday, our class was all a chatter and laughter. It seemed we all had a laundry list of things to do. Some of us had added to our list since our last meeting. Someone commented how timely this study was for her. My response was yes, God knows what we need when we need it.”
Mary and Martha
Most of us are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus has come into Mary and Martha’s home. Martha is all about details. She preparing the meal and all that goes with showing hospitality to guests. On the other hand, Mary is sitting in the family room at the feet of Jesus absorbing all He has to say. As we know, this does not set well with Martha.
I can see it now. Martha trying to get the meal ready, the table set and all the preparations that go into entertaining guests. As she is going full speed, she occasionally glances into the living room and there sits Mary. In her eyes Mary is doing nothing but sitting there. After dropping something for the umpteenth time, and most likely burning her hand as she pulls something from the stove. Martha says to herself; ‘that does it! I’ve had enough! I’m going to say something to Jesus. He will set Mary straight and get her in here to help.”
Can’t you see Martha marching into the living room and nudging Jesus? She nudges Jesus and ask if she can have a side bar with him for a moment. They pull away from the group and Martha lets loose on Jesus. She complains about all that has to be done for this dinner and all Mary is doing is sitting at his feet.
Jesus allows Martha to vent. All the while she is venting, I can see Jesus just snickering and nodding his head (which probably made Martha even more upset). Once she is done with her complaint, he puts everything that is happening into perspective.
First, I am all but sure Jesus told Martha to simply calm down and breathe. He says; “Martha, Martha ( shaking his head and smiling as he talks to Martha) you are worried and upset about too many things, only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. ” (Luke 10:38-42) I am sure Martha was a bit taken back at first with Jesus’ explanation to her.
Can’t We All Relate?
Can we not all relate? As I re-read this scripture and write this post, I am snickering a bit myself. I snicker because it is very convicting to me. I can’t tell you the countless times I have hosted something in my home or away from home that the one person or persons I thought I could rely on to help was in the family room having a good time. Yes, I have summons someone over to a corner to vent. This person would basically tell me to take a chill pill and not to worry. My response has been;“not worry! Don’t you see what needs to be done?!” Yet, in the end, I pull myself up by the boot straps and continue on with duties at hand.
Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet. Martha chose to get caught up in the details of the to-do list. When Martha confronts Jesus about this “problem” Jesus basically tells Martha that Mary has her priorities in order. Mary is doing what is most important and that’s taking time to sit with him. She is sitting still and absorbing all that Jesus has to say.
It is Summer. Summer is supposedly a time of rest and relaxation. However, it seems the Summer days get filled up to capacity. It is easy to get caught up in the to-do list and the details. For me, it is easy to wake up and hit the floor running and start into the daily routine of stuff to do. I admit there are days when I skip over the quiet time and go right into the day. The end result is that I become weary and irritable.
Yes, we all tend to fill our calendars to the maximum these days. Our schedules get filled out of obligation, guilt, and let’s just say it….we have a fear of missing out. Our stacked schedules with no breathing room is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be in relationship with him. He longs for us to just stop and sit at the feet of his Son, Jesus. God wants us to be quiet and hear his gentle whispers in our heart.
Today, I encourage you to just simply stop. Turn off anything that may be a distraction and simply be quiet. Read some of your favorite scripture verses. Or, allow God to lead you to a Psalm or Proverb that you may need today. It is amazing that when you sit still in the presence of God how he will lead you to the very words you need.
As you sit in the quiet, listen to the voice of your Father. Allow, him to guide you as to what you need to do next. Give him your empty cup and allow him to fill it up with a renewed spirit. I also encourage you to journal the thoughts/whispers he says to your heart. Write a prayer to God giving him the request on your heart. Also, write out the blessings you have received. As you write out those requests, remember to leave them at the feet of Jesus. When you write out the blessings be sure to give God thanks and praise.
Once you begin deliberately taking time to sit with Jesus, you will experience your out of kilter life get back into balance. This happens because you have invited God into the busyness of your life. You have allowed your Father to renew you and give you his whispers of encouragement. Most importantly, you have spent time in worship with your Father. I love this quote in the book, Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World…….
“When we put work before worship, we put the cart before the horse.”
Until next time, take time to be still with your Father.
PS You can follow me on Facebook. I have a Thoughts From The Porch Page (@thoughtsforabusyworld).