I don’t know about y’all, but I feel like my life lately has been a poorly played game of catch-up. My daily tasks keep rolling over to the next day, and my summer projects have become fall projects (and will probably turn into winter projects). I had a whole bunch of things to check off my list before classes started back up (like finishing this blog post… oops), but the time seemed to slip out of my hands.
Anyone who knows me can tell you I struggle with people-pleasing. I have a hard time saying no to anything, because I feel like I would be letting someone down. I take on every single task (even if no one asked me to), which becomes a problem when I know I don’t have the time for it. Soon I forget how to prioritize and end up stressed out. There are days when the bed isn’t made, dirty dishes are in the sink, laundry is piled high (trust me, these all drive me nuts), and my to-do list is a mile long. We’ve all been there. Maybe we’re both there right now.
We live in a world that glorifies “busy.” It’s the norm to be juggling ten million things at once. When you ask people how they’re doing, the first word to come out of their mouth is usually, “busy,” because we tend to fill our days with commitments until our plate is full. However, things can get messy when we let “busy” take control of our lives.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is about how a woman’s servant-heartedness leads her to become too anxious and distracted to pay attention to Jesus (who just so happens to be in her home).
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42
Martha is so busy trying to be hospitable that Jesus calls her out! Sometimes He desires for us to just rest at his feet and find comfort in Him. God values our attention, and when we take all the weight of worldly commitments off our shoulders, we are able to hear Him more clearly.
Have you ever done something you thought was right but it actually wasn’t? Martha really thought she needed to make all these preparations to show Jesus that she loved Him, but He just wanted her attention. Maybe she was trying to make her house perfectly neat and tidy for Jesus to visit (I know I would), but Jesus will meet us wherever we’re at – and that may be in the middle of an imperfect, messy home.
One of my best friends gifted us the sign in the picture above at our engagement party, and now it hangs on the wall directly in front of the entryway. It has the verse “For where two or three gather in my name I am with them,” from Matthew 18 written on it to remind us that Jesus is always present and welcomed in our home. We don’t need to have our house perfectly organized or our lives completely figured out in order for Jesus to work through us. Heck, we don’t even need our THOUGHTS figured out, because He already knows them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33
Now don’t get me wrong, we should all strive to be the kind of hospitable servant Martha was, but we need to learn to prioritize like Mary. We must let the Holy Spirit fill up our cup BEFORE we start taking on the world.
Next time someone asks how your week is going, why don’t you set your to-do list aside for a second, and ask God to straighten our your priorities. What if instead of responding with, “I’m so busy,” we count the number of times The Lord has blessed us that week?
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