“Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I identify way too much with Martha of Martha-and-Mary fame. If you don’t know their story, then you can read about these lovely ladies in Luke 10. It’s a true story about two ladies, their chores, and their Lord.
Mary decided to stop doing her chores in order to sit at Jesus’ feet. She made herself be still, just soaking up Jesus’ presence and learning what He was trying to teach her. I truly admire Mary. She chose the best thing. Martha didn’t.
Like me, Martha was distracted by the need to do the chores. I’m sure she felt even more driven after Mary opted out—no wonder she was worried and upset!
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
This post is for all the driven people. The first-borns, the onlys, and the others God made this way. Those Type-A’s out there who go and do and worry that the day will pass them by. People like me that can hardly stand to watch TV unless they’re doing something with their hands. (Check out one of my favorite memes here.)
All in all, I like being a driven person. I like being responsible, and getting things done. I like that people can count on me to do what I say I’ll do, and do it well.
…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.
Recently I gave my Organizing Belongings talk (called “You and Your Stuff”) to a lovely church group. During the Q&A I heard many of the usual questions, gave my thoughts, and opened up the floor to hear the thoughts of the other participants.
A lovely young women described how she was keeping boxes and boxes of her deceased mother’s things, and others in the crowd encouraged her to keep some of the most sentimental things and let the rest go. She could still love and honor her mom without keeping all of the stuff.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God…
By the time we hit the seventh day of the week, going church can feel like a “have to” rather than a “get to.” We’ve all woken up on a Sunday morning wishing we could stay in bed—but shouldn’t going to church be considerably more refreshing than an hour’s extra sleep?
God didn’t call Sunday a day of rest for nothing. The Sabbath isn’t about “not doing work” (at least not entirely—you can check out what I have to say about that in this post), it’s about resting in His presence and care.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Think it through
We’re coming to the end of our Lenten series. Easter is just days away. I’m looking forward to church. I’m looking forward to watching my kids find Easter baskets full of spring and summer treats. I’m looking forward to celebrating with my extended family.
And let’s face it, I’m looking forward to a Cadbury egg.
I’ve done this giving up chocolate thing before, and I know that first taste of chocolate will be almost too sweet, almost too good. It will be delightful, and I’ll be so thankful in that moment—He is Risen that we might have abundant and eternal life!
But soon the taste of chocolate will be, though still wonderful, commonplace. A part of my average day. Or worse, again, a temptation leading me further away from God instead of closer to Him.
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
Think it through
I don’t know about you, but this is when it starts to get really hard for me. Easter is still looking pretty far away… but all that Easter candy is staring me in the face whenever I enter a store. I’m not complaining—still smiling!—but it’s a fact that I’m getting tired of giving up chocolate.
This is the time to take a good look at how good we’re really doing with this Lenten fast. Truth always clears out spiritual clutter that’s rooted in feelings!
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
For the last couple of years, my little family has been making fun of all the hash-tagging.
This began when these symbol-led phrases started popping up on the bottom of our TV screen. I think I noticed it first on shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. (Yes, we still love those two!) #TribalCouncil #Blindside #UTurn
It was just too easy to roll our eyes at those. Soon we were joking in hashtags.
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Think it through
One Lenten day in 2008 I was at the mall with my kids (only two back then!), ready to redeem my coupon for a free Cheryl’s cookie. (The Library Summer Reading Club coupon sheet comes through again!)
Now normally I’d walk into a place like Cheryl’s and make a beeline for the chocolate. I mean, what’s the point of a cookie that doesn’t even include chocolate chips? And let’s see if we can find one that has chocolate batter as well…
But it was Lent, I’d given up chocolate, and I’d resigned myself to not getting a cookie at all. I’d get the free one and let the kids split it between them, case closed.