Wednesday 7 November 2018

Life at Full Throttle // When You Realise You're a Martha

I sat in church on Sunday morning, tears streaming down my face. It had been a reckoning. The Word preached had hit a nerve, hard... and I sat there, broken, and thankful and overwhelmed by the beautiful truth of grace upon grace upon grace.

For some time now, life has felt at full throttle. I have literally hopped from one event to the next, one meeting to the next, and Dave and I have felt a little like passing ships. Connection has had to be planned for, and often late at night when one of us gets in from something or other. And too many late nights, accompanied by 5am early bird risers (thankyou Jonas), is only sustainable for so long... before the overwhelm hits... before you realise you're throwing every ounce of energy into staying afloat.

My creativity has dwindled... my thoughtfulness in parenting quashed... life has been about surviving one thing to the next.

And most importantly, I've been very busy serving - others, God, my family, my team... so busy, that I've neglected to energize myself.

There's a big movement at the moment in self-care... making sure your own needs are being served so that you have energy and ability to serve others. There's a lot of sense in it, and a lot of balancing over self-indulgence and selfishness too. I don't need any help with those things.

And yet, I know, that the real self-care is soul-care. Is nourishing my heart - feasting on the gospel. Wallowing and wading through deep truth and fulfilled promises. Keeping my eyes fixed on an old rugged cross. It's a lesson the Lord seems to need to teach me over and over and over... the quiet voice whispering...

"Slow down, Claire"
"It's not about how much you do, but what I've done..."
" Mary has chosen what is better..."

In the bible, the gospels tell us about two sisters - friends of Jesus. The elder sister, Martha, runs around as the guests arrive, laying the table, putting together a feast fit for a King. She is run off her feet and soon notices that her sister is nowhere to be found...
And then she spots her, sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him...
And inside she hits boiling point...
"I'm here, slaving away, making dinner, getting everything ready, looking after the needs of these guys while she sits and listens? Doesn't she think I'd love to be doing that?! But SOMEONE'S got to make the dinner... its so unjust, so unfair."
And in the meantime all the joy that she had in serving her Lord has gone, eaten up by bitterness, jealousy and self-righteousness.
And then Jesus turns to her and says "Mary has chosen what is better"...

Can I tell you how much my heart instinctively rushes to Martha's defence? Why?? Because I'm her! So busy that I forget the reason for my busyness... I prioritize the action over the relationship.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus daily, is the only thing that will bring peace to my stormy soul and pump joy back into my service. It's the only thing that will give me eyes to see where I need to step back, and it gives me the freedom to recognise my limitations.

I don't need to do everything. I don't need to be everything.

I'll only fail if I try and do that.

Instead, I sit. At his feet. Feed on his words... remember his promises... hold up every nook and cranny of my life and say.

Lord, help me.


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