Monday, December 27, 2010

No "strangles" for me.

Timing is everything sometimes. It will never cease to amaze me how spot on God is. You would think it would be a " no duh" type thing, but yet- it still surprises me.

Teens have been giving me a run for my money. Holiday busy-ness has tried to steal my joy. Marriage has not been "roses and daisies" of late, and more than anything- I keep choosing to worry rather than pray. Terrible place to be.

As I was hurrying to work this morning, God reminded me of Martha. You remember her- the sister who gave Martha Stewart her name? (Not really- but you know you always think of it too.) Luke chapter 10:38-42 shares her story. Let's recap:
Jesus and His homies rolled into Jerusalem and had a sweet little lady named Martha, invite them to dinner. The home was comfy and clean, and Martha's sister Mary was so excited to have Jesus there! She sat down right at the Lord's feet- enthralled by every word He spoke. Martha, on the other hand, was setting the table, cooking the roast, rolling out the dough, cutting vegetables, making punch and setting up 3 big, beautiful pies for desert. She didn't hear a word Jesus said- but she certainly had some choice words of her own to share with her stinky, slacker sister! She was completely distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. At last, Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here (on her fat, lazy tail) while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me!!!”
But Jesus looked at her and said, "Martha dear- you are WORRIED about all these DETAILS. Just details, love! Stop trippin' and realize- there is only one thing worth being concerned about. What I have to give YOU. Mary had figured this out, and no one can take it from her."
(Please don't be horrified by my liberties in story telling- go read the actual story. So much better. My version is just what comes out after I have read it. :)

I have always read this and been like "Well, sure. But all you all's bellies would be EMPTY if it wasn't for MARTHA!" Even in this story, I get hung up on the details. But today God reminded me that- whether Peaceful Mary was learning at Jesus's feet (sitting on her butt with idle hands, btw) or Joyful Martha was learning in the kitchen, listening to her Lord's words as she kneaded the dough- BOTH could have been more concerned about the "one thing worth" thinking about.

That was the key- to have the willing and teachable heart. Whatever your bent is. A pastor said today "Worry STRANGLES the divine perspective." As Martha focused and stressed on how to get the "big dinner" on the table and her pats on the back for being Betty Crocker, she missed the best thing. Jesus was in her home- letting her SERVE HIM. Oh, fix my worrying heart, Lord! I want to see people, the world, LIFE- from Your Perspective! I like being Martha- doing, doing, doing. But don't let me be so distracted by the worry, that I miss the essential things. Or give myself a coronary. I don't want to be "strangled" by the concerns of this world..when in the end, you work it all out just right anyways.

So good for me today, and I hope it comforted you too- whether you are Mary, Martha, or some where in between. Hang out with me in Luke tonight, and see what else God has for you.

(And I did make a new reminder sign for the kitchen- "Clean enough to be healthy. Cluttered enough to be happy." My family will appreciate it if I was a little LESS OCD.)

"When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. " Psalm 94:18-19

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