Pushing back on the grind

" As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

It's Monday, time to get back to the grind. Have you noticed how much our culture values busyness? We need to be part of the 5am club so we can get up, get fired up, and get ahead of the other guy. The person who is at the office the longest hours, must be the hardest working. The person with the most sales is the most successful. Just because we are busy, doesn't mean we are healthy or happy. Our society values the rat race, and if you're not a part of it you are often perceived as unmotivated, or unsuccessful.

Jesus pushed back on this idea in this story. Martha was doing all the things needed to show hospitality to a group of travelers. She had to cook, clean, and make all the preparations for their visit. It was perfectly normal for her to become frustrated with her sister for not helping. Here's the thing though...Jesus was not just a traveler, he is the Lord! Mary realized that she could have a front and center seat to hear the teacher teach right there in her own living room. She was soaking it all in. On the other hand, Martha was so distracted by the work that needed to be done, that she didn't stop and consider who her guest was and the incredible opportunity that she was presented.

Being busy is not what's important. Working more hours, having more clients, getting more accolades... those things feed our need to compare ourselves to others, which only ends in discontentment. Why, because we can always work harder, we can always perform better, we can always do more. Jesus is telling us here that the better choice is to sit with him, to learn from him, and to listen to his words. By doing this, we will have everything we need!

Every day, I start by talking to Jesus, reading the Word, and journaling. Some days this is a short exercise, and some days I feel like I am drawn deeper and deeper into the Word, into prayer, into worship. I'll tell you, on those days I have never thought that was wasted time. If my phone calls and emails had to wait, I was much better equipped to go forward into my day after plugging in to the true power source, that is God!

Lord, help me to be able to pause, to breathe, and to seek you before racing off to take on the world. There will always be someone who was up earlier, is working harder, is doing more. When I compare myself to others, and to the expectation of our culture I will never be good enough. Lord, give me the discipline to quiet that noise and to sit at your feet, even for just a few moments. Help me to breathe deeply and to thank you for the breath in my lungs. Help me to take a few moments to thank you for all that you have given me. Help me to ask you to guide my steps, and to do my work as if working for you. Help me to have grace, wisdom, and love for others. They are not the competition, they are my brothers and sisters. Help me to remember that you love me, unconditionally, that I don't have to earn it. Thank you that you give me all that I need, and that I can do all things if I trust in you.

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