“And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 41-42 NKJV
It’s 7:30 am on Sunday morning.
As I sit, and think, and pound out words, I wonder at how seven whole days have slipped by since I last sat down to write.
I am learning this about myself: The longer I go without writing, the further I feel from God. My soul feels weary and I can’t help but look back at my week and ask myself, “How did I get here?
My family goes to church on Saturday evening, and last night as we piled into the car, I felt a sense of urgency. I love our church and I always look forward to being there. But last night was different. I didn’t just want to be there. I needed to be there. I needed the chance and opportunity to enter in and connect with God.
As our worship leader concluded the song service he told us that sometimes he feels like his days are spent in a mad dash from one “Have To” to another, and that sometimes in the midst of the rushing from obligation to obligation he fails to make space and time for God.
He also told us about how much he loves to spend time with his son. How he loves for his son to crawl into his lap, and just sit there, content to be with him. And he said that this is how it is with God. That God, as our Heavenly Father, loves for us to simply spend time with him. He reminded us that we don’t always have to spend our time with God by reading the Bible or praying. That sometimes it’s enough to just sit and be with God.
I needed to hear these words. I needed to picture myself as the child, sitting in the Father’s lap, doing nothing but being with Him because this is what my soul is weary for.
As I reflect on my week, as I write this blog, as I prepare for the week ahead, I can’t help but think of all the things I allowed to come between me, and God and writing this week.
They are tricky, these things we think we have to do. They crop up, and deceive and steal from us the one thing that is needed. In and of themselves, they aren’t bad things. Quite often they are worthy and needed goals. And perhaps the trickery doesn’t lie in the things themselves but in the urgency and pressure we place upon ourselves to get each “Have To” accomplished.
This week, as my “Have To” list mounted, and my time with God was dispersed like dust, I could feel the pressure mounting. I can see how I let the pressure get to me, how I let it get at the best of me. How I yelled at my kids, and fought with my husband and became short tempered, graceless, and downright vile.
Don’t I know better? Isn’t this what Jesus was getting at when He spoke the words to Martha? I can imagine what Martha’s “Have To” list must have looked like, and I’m afraid it bears a startling resemblance to mine.
And the words He spoke to Mary, the words that said only ONE thing is needed, that by choosing the one thing, the good part would not be taken away from her. Isn’t this the one thing I missed this week?
I’ve seen this truth at work. I’ve known the miracle myself. That when we choose God, when we place Him in His rightful place at the TOP of our “Have To” list, when we make Him the one thing that is needed, the one thing we Have To Do, the goodness of Him is not taken from us. And I’ve seen it too, how He is faithful, how He multiplies the moments. When we open up our lives and make space and time for Him, He opens up the cosmos and makes space and time for everything else.
As I make a plan for this coming week, I am reminded of how I can do things differently. How I can be the little child who crawls into the Father’s lap. How I can make space and time for God. How I, like Mary, can choose the good part, the one thing that is needed.
How this week I can tear up the list and find in Him my most urgent…my only… “Have To.”