I forgot my word for the year.
This actually isn’t the first time I’ve done this. But I’d wrestled so intensely with still in even just the first few days that I was sure it was going to be a fight the whole year through.
It hasn’t been, though, and so I’m left here, eleven months down, wondering just what still was supposed to mean when I spent most of the year not even thinking about it.
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the point is when you start the fight for contentedness, and once you’ve wrestled yourself down to the ground over it, you’ll rise with a better sense of what it is to live it instead of fight for it. And I’ve felt that, reflecting back on these past months. I’ve had many adventures this year, just like I spent this time in 2013 dreaming of, and when I had let them go and decided I was going to own my season of sowing, a season of reaping fell into my story.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” • Luke 10:38-42
Sometimes, I wonder, when we read this, if we miss the whole point.
I’ve read posts that extol Mary’s devotion to Jesus and posts that identify with and defend Martha. This post is not either of those.
Martha’s busyness is not the issue and Mary’s not better just because she sat at Jesus’s feet. This, ultimately, is a challenge to evaluate the placement of our hearts.
Martha didn’t do anything wrong. Her physical actions and her mental checklists were not the problem. It’s when she pushed them on Mary and let them get the best of her temper that Jesus gently rebukes her. And I think this is a gentle but critical reminder to ask ourselves: Are we doing the stuff for Jesus or are we sitting with Jesus?
Because Jesus doesn’t want our stuff. He wants our hearts.
Do we get that? Do we live squarely in the middle of that truth? Because I don’t. I live in doing things and saying things and thinking things. I don’t usually spend my time praying or reading Scripture or seeking Jesus’s face. I’m learning, but I’m not there. And it’s the faithfulness of Jesus that has brought me even that far.
I’d guess Martha was in a similar situation. She got it on a mental level. She knew who Jesus was. That’s why she was so worried. She needed somebody to cut through the distractions and tell her straight what the point was. That’s what Jesus did. He reminded her why she was doing what she was doing.
So why are we doing what we’re doing? Why am I working with high school girls and writing on this blog and why are you doing whatever the Lord’s placed in front of you?
Because Jesus changed my life and restored my fortune.
Because He freed me from sin and gave me a crown of glory and a seat at His feet.
Because He’s teaching me grace, love, and mercy, day after day after day.
And the people before us?
They need to know that.
They need to know Jesus can change their lives and restore their fortunes.
They need to know He freed them from sin and gave them crowns of glory and spaces to sit at His feet.
They need to know He’ll teach them grace, love, and mercy, day after day after day.
He wrote His glory on the sky, and we just need to testify. Jesus, keep me still doing only that.