” The first step toward healing is admitting you have a problem.”
As I celebrated my 30th birthday , I was struck by inability to really enjoy it. I was so worried about seating arrangements and talking to everyone who came to celebrate that I couldn’t really be present in the moment. So many wonderful people that I love had come to celebrate this milestone with me, but I wasn’t focused on them. I was focused on drink orders and having good pictures and making sure everyone got cupcakes (thank you Sugar Mama’s!).
I was so focused on taking care of every need before it could even be stated that missed out on a lot of fun. It wasn’t just about my desire to be a good hostess at my birthday party. It’s generally the way I lead my life.
“We need people for the membership committee, so I will be a part of the committee.”
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll take care of it.”
“No need to ask, it needs to be done, so I will do it.”
“Of course I’ll host a dinner for the leadership team at my house.”
So here I am on every committee, offering helpful suggestions, and bringing cookies. I used to do it all with a smile–rushing from meeting to meeting, coffee to coffee, committee to committee.
But, lately the smile is gone, replaced with weariness and a little bit of rage. I have realized I am not Super Girl and that I too am limited to 24-hour days. I can’t develop or use the gifts God has given me properly because I am so busy organizing events and attending 50 bazillion committee meetings. (okay so first thing about me is I tend to exaggerate)
I began my 30th year with a 30 day fast. I wanted time to reflect on my twenties and the things I was leaving there. I thought about all of the obvious things; playing fast and loose with my finances, making better choices when it comes to boys, learning to love God more. But, the one thing that never came up was my tendency to rush through my life until a total stranger reminded me of the importance of bringing the peace of God into dark places. In the current iteration of my life, I was bringing nothing but frustration and a “let’s just get through this” attitude.
So what is a woman to do? How do I restore balance? How do I bring peace if I am always rushing?
God has been bringing me back to the story of Mary and Martha. I mean what women’s ministry worth it’s salt anything has done some sort of study of these two sisters. We get it busyness bad!
But what if it’s for the Pastor?
Or to help out your friend?
Or no one else will do it?
I mean wasn’t Martha just doing what HAD to be done. I mean after all she was hosting the KING OF KINGS. Obviously, He can’t eat sandwiches off a paper plate. I mean what would people say?
So Martha was doing what we all would’ve done she started freaking out. Instead of getting help from her sister or sympathy for trying to put together a nice dinner party, she was humiliated. Jesus took Mary’s side! He told Martha that while she was worried about many things only a “few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41
After running myself ragged these last few months doing what I thought had to be done. I realize what Jesus was saying to Martha is that Mary’s way of living is better, because instead of running herself ragged she’s soaking in the fullness of my glory. The better part is a calmer and simpler way of living. It doesn’t require to-do lists or calendar requests because it’s centered on My presence. You’ll know if I need water or food because I asked you, not by doing what you think ought to be done.
My best friend’s mother has this saying ” Keep the Main Thing the main thing.” We laugh every time she says it, but I think this is what Jesus was trying to tell Martha. It’s what I have lost sight of in the flurry of calendar dates, all of the things I am doing are good things, but when they are clouding my view of the MAIN THING, then they are the wrong things.
The frenetic pace of my twenties has kept me from truly hearing what Jesus has actually asked of me. I am so busy doing things He hasn’t asked for that I have missed the better part–the living out my calling, the spending time with Him, the deep and lasting friendships.
And so in my 30th year, I quit.
I am quitting because I want to have coffee with a girlfriend and actually hear what she’s saying. I want to help my mentee learn the ropes at our local community college. I want to hear from God what He actually wants for my life.
So I am saying “no” to some good things, because I really only truly want the Main Thing.
This Martha is finally choosing the better part.