I confess, I often obsess about whether or not I am living a purposeful life. Though it is good to live a purpose driven life, I often feel as though I am living more of a “purpose drive me crazy” life. I know I need to rest in God’s grace and trust that if there was something I should or should not be doing with my life, He will make it clear to me. I need to relax and enjoy the journey rather than try to figure out the destination. I need to practice what I preach.
I believe we are naturally better at doing than we are at being. It is much easier to busy ourselves with tasks and to-do lists than it is to be still and wait. I find the world full of weary Martha’s instead of restful Mary’s. I am certain God put the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible because he knew us Girls would struggle with the tendency to do rather than be.
What causes this struggle? In some ways I think doing is easier. When we busy ourselves with doing we feel like we have accomplished something. We feel as though we have “earned our keep” or shown ourselves valuable. The check list of accomplishments proves that we are not slackers. We appear to have it all together when we are constantly on the run and keeping busy.
Being takes effort. Being requires us to let our guard down and our hearts open. Being requires us to understand that we are valued even when we accomplish nothing. Being reveals our flaws, hurts, and insecurities. Being requires us to be humble, teachable, patient, and all of those other qualities that don’t come easily or naturally for most of us.
I see many Christians perfecting their doing at the expense of their being. We spend so much time living for and serving God that we forget to spend time living with God. We forget that Emmanuel means God with us, not “Hey God, you wait here while I go do a bunch of good stuff to show you how much I love you.”
If God had to choose between you working for Him or being with Him, he would choose being with you. That is why He tells Martha in Luke 10:41-42 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
What was the good part? The good part was sitting at the feet of Jesus and continually listening to His teaching, according to Luke 10:38. The good part is where Jesus does a perfect work in you, reminding you of how much you are loved, treasured, forgiven, and set free. The good part is peace, rest, and joy, rather than weariness, anxiety, and worry.
Paul had it all figured out he tells us in Philippians 3:10 10 And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did];
Seems like Paul would have been a pretty busy guy seeing as how he wrote two thirds of the New Testament, traveled all over the Eastern Hemisphere, planted and taught numerous churches, performed miracles, escaped death multiple times, and also worked along the way making tents so as not to burden the church. As busy doing as he was, he still understood that more than any of those amazing tasks, his most treasured activity was simply being with the Lord. He counted all of it as nothing if at the end of his race he did not thoroughly know the Lord.
If I were to see Jesus face to face would I be more likely to tell him about all of the things I have been busy doing for Him, or would I recount the treasured moments I have spent with Him?
I believe the more we learn to be Pauls and Marys, the more Martha work we will actually get done, minus the bitterness, weariness, and anxiety. I am going to stop being driven by the need to feel as though I have purpose, and park myself at the feet of Jesus. There’s room for you if you would like to join me…
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for wanting to spend time with me. Help me to walk away from my to do lists so I can spend time with you. Teach me to know, truly know, your hart. Help me to spend more time being and less time doing. Quiet my anxious thoughts and still my restless heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love, Grace, and A Life of Being,