Google calendar is my life line. Each night before bed it’s the last thing I look at in order to mentally prepare myself for the next day. Will there be cello lessons and jujitsu for Abbi? Viola lessons and dance for Bella? Preschool for Aidan? Are we serving at church this weekend? Then there’s PTA responsibilities, Community Group nights, classroom volunteer opportunities, playdates, doctor appointments, and all the other things (cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, etc) that are part of running a home. You get the point.
Busyness is a language I understand and actually enjoy, but I’m slowly learning to also respect the importance of rest. I crave it.
In Luke 10:38-42 we are introduced to Martha and Mary. These two sisters opened up their home to Jesus and His disciples during the time of His ministry here on earth. While He was staying with them Martha exhausted herself playing the part of hostess. Her sister, Mary, did something very different… she sat at Jesus’ feet listening to what He had to say. Martha, in my opinion, was understandably angry, and said to Him “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help!”
That is me. I am Martha.
The thought of someone sitting while the “to do” list grows longer is completely infuriating. My heart goes out to Martha and yet this is how Jesus responds. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better…”
Whoa! Talk about a humbling moment.
In Joanna Weaver’s Bible study Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World she points out that Jesus didn’t tell Martha to be more like Mary. He simply said that, when faced with the same choice – to work or to worship – Mary had made the better choice.
Personally, I do not think that rest is a synonym for laziness. God is not calling us to neglect the people we love or to be careless in our daily responsibilities, but He is encouraging us to slow down and enjoy the present moment. To prioritize spending time everyday in the Bible. To intentionally quiet our minds and pray for our spouse and children. To surround ourselves with people who love and serve Jesus.
As we wind down the school year, things are getting crazy in our home. The constant activity of our daily schedule is starting to feel suffocating. Apparently, God is trying to get my attention because our lead pastor just preached on this very topic of rest. He reassured us that it’s okay to be still, to be humble and to take a break. He reminded us that when we fail to rest, we often fail to remember God. It was something I needed to hear.
Rest does not come naturally to me. If my body is still, my mind is going. Always thinking, always planning, always preparing. It happens because I care. I want the best for my family, my friends, myself. But I need to learn not to sacrifice the best thing for all these good things. I need to learn how to have moments of stillness.
So, will you will join me on this journey of soulful rest? Let’s sit, together, at the feet of Jesus, and experience the calming joy that can only come from Him.