“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace
is to finish what I start. So for today, I have finished two bags of M & M’s
and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” – Dave Barry
Nothing can steal our peace like a “to do” list that is out of control. Are you trying to do it all? I sure feel like I am. Maybe my “to do” list needs a Mary-Martha adjustment. How about you?
“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 few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
I can be very much like Martha. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. I cannot accomplish all of the things on my “to do” list because my busyness overwhelms me.
As part of my journey of seeking peace, I have been attempting to avoid the “tyranny of the urgent,” not letting urgent things take priority over the important things. I admit that as hard as I try, I still have not been 100% successful. Unfortunately, one item on my “to do” list that continues to suffer is my daily devotions. As I wrote these words, something occurred to me... maybe my devotions should not even be on my “to do” list. Time spent with God should not be a task to be crossed off my list. It should not be something that I might get to if I have time leftover at the end of the day, but a privilege that I look forward to and am blessed with each day. My time with God should be as natural as the first glimpse of morning light or the last conscious breath before I fall asleep.
My heart longs to sit at the feet of Jesus, to be like Mary. She made a conscious decision to let Martha do the “busy-work.” It was a choice. She chose Jesus as her most important priority, over the urgency of busyness.
God knows that our daily schedules can be difficult. He understands the demands on our time. Jesus experienced the same types of distractions. His “to do” list was a lot longer than mine, but unlike me, Jesus didn’t put “daily devotions with God” on his list. He sought God’s presence amidst all of his daily “to do’s” - before, during and after - asking advise, seeking His will, and thanking Him in all things.
Some of you may be reading this blog and find it impossible to relate. Your devotional time and quiet time alone with God is a daily routine that you find impossible to do without. I say to you, what a blessing to have a Mary heart in a Martha world. I am seeking, but not there yet!
I have laid out a challenge for myself... this week I am committing to a different approach. I will still have things “to do” (probably more than time allows), but I am going to start each day by thanking God for providing 24 hours. Twenty-four hours that I can use to His glory. I am going to let Him write my “to do” list. Since I am a night person, and don’t want to give Him the leftover minutes at the end of my day, I plan to put my “to do” list away at a reasonable hour each evening and in doing so, I can give God “quality time” for my devotions. And before my feet leave the floor each night, I will thank Him for the accomplishments of the day (whatever they may be).
If you are like me, make a commitment and join me in my search for a peace-ful heart. A heart filled with the presence of God. If you have mastered your “God time,” add me to your prayer list. After all, life is a journey, and we are walking along the path together.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver
“Be still and know that I am God.”
– Psalm 46:10