originally published February 20, 2007
Can somebody help me out here? I'm looking for that verse where it says, "Blessed are the busy Christians, for they keep the programs running, the nursery open, and the bulletin printed on time."
What do you mean, it's not there? It's got to be there. I mean, I think I want to make it my life verse! Besides, how else can I show everybody what a good Christian I really am?
[T]hink about what we do...spend time praying and seeking to discern what is done because it 'should' be, and what is actually part of God's plan and will. It is easy to feel like I 'should' be busy and active and accomplishing tangible things. But maybe for this season living the Gospel authentically means being content without being particularly productive. It's a challenge to live to please God and not others or myself.
I read this recently in a letter from my friend Abigail (check out her blog abirumania). She was inspired by something she was reading from Henri Nouwen. For me, this particular paragraph in her letter just jumped up and bit me, so to speak.
Lately, I've been feeling pulled in so many directions. I need to spend more time with my daughter because these are her impressionable toddler years and I need to make sure she gets molded right.... I need to spend more time on my volunteer activities at church because we're building a whole new vision and each of us must do our part.... I need to spend more time on my blog because I don't post often enough.... I need to spend more time with my husband because if I'm ignoring him, our relationship is just going to go to pot and there goes our marriage.... I need to spend more time balancing our household budget because we need to be good stewards of our money and get all our bills paid on time.... I need to spend more time exercising because it's so good for me and would really help with the weight I'm trying to lose.... I need to spend more time with God because that's really the most important thing.
Anybody else tired yet? I'm not even through with my to-do list. Surely God didn't make us to run around with our stress levels up to our eyeballs and feeling like we need a few more hours every day in order to get it all done. Yet, how do I get myself into this position?
I think I get afraid when I'm not busy. I'm not sure what to do with myself. Even though I crave regular time out of this busy hubbub that is my life, I'm not sure how to do anything different. I'm not sure how to just be. Besides, if I'm being, who's going to get all the work done?
What I'm having trouble with, I guess, is the whole idea that God's priorities are different than mine. While it's important for me that everything looks good and well put together, God's view is somewhat different. I want my daughter's clothes all to match. I think God is more concerned with her knowing how much He loves her. I want my blog to look all pretty. I think God wants it to be honest and honoring to Him.
I still don't quite understand how I'm supposed to get everything done. I can't quite figure out the balance of work and play and relationship building. But, I also haven't really tried to focus first on God and secondarily on everything else. Frankly, I'm a little afraid to. I have such trouble keeping up now, I think to myself, how on earth will I be able to get it all done if I'm focusing on God all the time?
Anybody else hear Martha in that statement? "Mary...sat before the Master, hanging on every word He said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do" (Luke 10:39-40, MSG). Then she complained to Jesus that she was doing all the work, while her sister just sat there not doing anything.
Remember Jesus's response? "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it" (Luke 10:41-42, MSG).
Dear Amy, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential....