Thursday, May 27, 2010

Too Busy For Jesus?

Life is so busy.  It can really sweep you up into it's whirlwind.  And that's where I have the whirlwind.  I've been very busy with so many good things, I haven't made time for the best things.  I really don't have any excuse.   My life reminds me of the story of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-41.

"Now as they (the disciples and Jesus) were traveling along, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” NAS
I, like Martha, am concerned with why no one else seems to be helping.  Martha had the nerve to ask Jesus if he cared that Mary was not helping and proceeds to tell Him to tell Mary to help.  Martha put her will upon God, the creator of the universe.  She demanded that He do what she wanted...give me some help! My attitude has been like Martha in so many ways. 

In the Luke 10 passage, it doesn't tell us if Martha sits down to listen or if she fusses with Mary after Jesus leaves.  What we do learn; however, is that  Mary chose what "shall not be taken away" (listening and learning from Jesus = a relationship with God and spiritual growth).  And that's a mouthful spoken in few words. 

All of the other things that keep us busy shall be taken away in time...children leave the nest, work deadlines pass, retirement will come, practice schedules cease, house work, church work, yard work, etc. etc. etc. won't last.   Only what we do for Christ will last.

The best thing is to spend time with God listening for his direction and learning from the wisdom found in the Scripture.  We still have tasks to do but when we choose to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary did, we choose the good part and we approach the rest of it with proper perspective.  I must admit, I am more like Martha at times...being consumed by the tasks that need to be done.  I spend time doing things while losing sight of why or for whom I am doing them.   What a shame...I am ashamed.

Are you choosing what shall not be taken away from you?  Do you have time sitting at Jesus' feet?  Please share with us how you fit your "quiet time" into your schedule?  Has God been teaching you something to teach us?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walk This Way!

This morning in my quiet time, the Father directed me to Ephesians 5, one of my favorite passages. As I read the passage reflectively, read it again in another version, and yet again in another version, I found myself chuckling at how hard we make living the way He desires.

Two things right at the starting gate are:
  1. Emulate the Father
  2. Live in love
I have a friend, Ashley, who is the full example of this to me. Ashley lives her life looking for people to love. She was in church one Sunday and a family sat next to her that was having trouble following the service because English was not their first language and the church had no interpretation. Though she could understand them, nor could they understand her - she handed them a piece of paper with her number and told them to call if there was anything that they needed. After several weeks she got a call from a person who said that his friend had her number in his hand and needed help. Ashley headed over to this apartment that was not furnished with anything and found that the family was living there and that the husband was having trouble finding work. Here is love in action: Ashley got on the phone called local friends that she knew were hiring and set up interviews for the husband, Ashley called her friends and gathered their clothes for the family, Ashley called more friends and told them to cancel those garage sales and bring the gently used furniture to her. At the end of a few days the family had jobs, clothing, furniture, food, and the kids were in school. And as an added bonus - she got someone to teach them ESL in their home. OH!! Did I mention that Ashley is married, a mother of 4 children (2 of which are special needs). Yes -- she had much to do. But not so much that she could not take the time to show this family a tangible picture of the love of God.
There are so many books and tapes out there telling us how to live the life of Christ in the world, the Father reminded me yet again that He has giving us all we need for life and living. He says to us all - I have showed you the way to do it -- now do it just the way I did. In other words pour your life out for the sake of others. Your time? Your talent? Your treasure? Yours ---- really?? Remember who owns you, who you owe your life too and then steward all He has given you well by giving yourself away and count it gain!

Ask the Father to teach your heart to love. Not just to love, but to love the way that He has intended. In the words of the song by William McDowell - give yourself away so He can use you. Admit that your life is not your own - develop a heart that longs to see God's desire for us fulfilled.
Here is the way - walk ye in it!