Time flies…no…it warp speeds ahead! Not only that, but it sometimes seems as if I’m living someone else’s life as moments pass like scenes I remember from a movie I once watched. It’s crazy! I thought time was a constant here on earth! What happened to those childhood years spent waiting on the ever allusive birthday? Or never being “old enough” to do what everyone else was doing? I remember thinking, “Will I ever arrive?!?”
Now almost forty, I’ve got 17 years of military life under my belt (and years of anxiety to prove it!). I’ve had duty stations come and go, birthed 3 children – one of them overseas, created a few businesses and closed them. I’ve been evicted from a home because it was literally falling over (hua ARMY housing), and I’ve said good-bye so many times that connecting with someone for the first time becomes just as painful as the good-bye to come. The danger in all this mess I call life is that it moves so fast when I’m always looking ahead to the next thing. And evaluating all the options with their pros and cons to make sure no mistakes are made…well, let’s just say I don’t even want to go there right now. It gets scary!
A verse the Lord gave to me a few years ago as I noticed this struggle is found in Luke. “…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one; choose what is better and it will not be taken away.” If this sounds familiar to you, than you know the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus came to their home. A must read for any busy distracted mama! You’ll find it in Luke 10.
Now be honest with yourself. How do you read scripture that seems to smack you in the spiritual face? Do you keep moving, or do you stop and really let it soak in? If you allow it to soak into your spirit…how? I love to cover my walls with scripture that the Lord points out to me and work to have them become a part of my being. This one scripture sits at eye level in the center of my desk space. It has become that important.
Let’s take a mental journey together to set the scene for my longest week!
A while ago I was reading in the book of Luke and I came across Luke 10:41-42. It hit me in a new way so I wrote it down.
The first thing I notice is the phrase, “you are worried and upset about many things.” Can I get an amen in the room?!? This verse has my attention and I keep reading!
The Lord doesn’t want to leave us there in our worry, so he continues to bring our minds from our chaos into focus. He leads us from our “many things” to a “few things” and then cuts off everything extra until we get to “only one thing.” Take a deep breath and consider your day and all the many things you have swirling around in your mind. Your brain thinks all those things are important because of the time and energy you are putting towards those. Now I want you to narrow it down to only the “few things needed” from that list you keep track of in your head. Did your brain just slow down a pinch and a ray of sunshine start to break through? But wait!! We are not done! Out of that list of a few things, pick “only one” thing to do.
WHA?!? Is that even possible?!? Hold on, let me check my calendar while cooking dinner, messaging my friend and yelling at my kids to stop pulling at my arm because I’m busy! I’m trying to watch a YouTube tutorial on this recipe and don’t forget I have to leave for worship team practice soon!!! (This may or may not be an example from my own life.)
Fortunately God knows that we can’t just go from crazy to peace with the snap of our fingers. He lovingly dials it down into focus before the real truth hits home. A truth in the form of a verb! This is what blew my mind.
Just one word tucked into his loving rebuke of Martha. We have the ability to choose.
I know it doesn’t seem like it! I know it doesn’t feel like it! I’ve lived days allowing my thoughts to take me over, and glaze me over, until I couldn’t even hear my kids ask me a question. But here my God tells me that I can choose something different. And because he is good, faithful and true, I know this word was placed here, in this way, at this time, for me.
It was placed here for you.
When reading this whole passage we see that Jesus is speaking about Mary choosing to sit, listen and learn at Jesus’ feet. I’m thinking, “What the heck is wrong with Martha!?! Jesus is there, in person, in her home speaking and she’s clanging dishes around complaining that Mary isn’t helping?” But whether we are a Mary or a Martha, we can’t sit Jesus’ literal feet today. We don’t have his tall figure or gentle but firm voice to capture our attention in a crowd. Even sitting at his spiritual feet seems impossible when you can’t slow down! I have prayed and tried to sit at his feet many times to find my mind wouldn’t allow me too…until I took hold of this instruction. “Choose.” For me this looked like leaving work and saying out loud, “I get to go home and be a mom!” Or sometimes it was the purposed thought, “I get to hold and kiss my husband when he gets home.” I chose to live in the blessing of that moment and in that moment I chose to be in, time slowed down.
This past week, time slowed down. Moments were savored. My work was good. My rest was even better and my tank was filled. This past week was the longest week that I have had in years. I made a choice to ignore the many things, know that there are a few things that need to be done, but really focused on one thing. My family. But what is even better is that I was able to claim the mission field of my home again! Behaviors got better as “love tanks” were filled and our home has been more joyful and at rest all because I made a choice.
He is good, faithful and true. What do you choose?