“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
American culture is plagued by hyperactivity without productivity. We think being busy equals importance or a frantic pace is a path to success. Like a pack mule loaded down with an overabundance of supplies, we pack our calendar to the breaking point. We play mind games with ourselves that busyness is what’s best for our family, but the real outcomes are: relational emptiness, health challenges and irritable emotions. We even justify being over active for Jesus.
Perhaps a wiser start to the year is a stop doing list. As Jesus instructed Martha, we need to take an inventory of our activities and ask what is really needed. What has served its purpose for a season, but is now unnecessary, even an obstacle to what’s best? Let go of emotional attachments and embrace margin for meaningful relationships. Is it time to stop a sports program, a long commute or a tired volunteer role? Become better with contemplation and strategic availability.
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Matthew 18:18
It takes courage to take the route trafficked infrequently, but the ride is less stressful and more enjoyable. Avoid going where everyone else is going, nowhere fast. A fast track is too fast when it starves our faith. We find ourselves with very little left over time for prayer, Bible study, worship and community. Give what’s important first priority on the calendar. Worry works itself out of a job when we work out our bodies, feed our minds, heal our emotions and rest our souls.
By faith, stop doing something each week or month that has passed its prime time. Be patient to not rush and fill a gap in your calendar with crowded appointments. Blocks of discretionary time give you availability for spontaneous service. Yes, take a step back from the myopic trees bunched together, so you can see the imaginative forest of faith. Anyone can be busy, some can be productive, but few walk by faith and watch God do more. So, stop doing good to do better.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith to let go of the good, so I can enjoy Your best.
Related Readings: Psalm 61:4; Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 8:41-43; Philippians 3:13