Don’t just do something….stand there!
I LOVE this phrase! At my recent retreat, this was the basis of one of our conferences. As a busy wife, mother, homeschool teacher, church volunteer and manager in our family business, I can vouch for how life rarely slows down! Most days, I feel like Martha, constantly fretting about what needs to be done and frustrated when those around me aren’t helping with all of the tasks. In fact, this morning, I woke up to the alarm only to roll over and pull a stunt my teens do – I pulled the sheets back over my head and burrowed down trying to ignore the fact that I really should get up. It is SO easy to get overwhelmed and to want to just leave it all and disappear some days.
There is much on my mind that I am worried or fretting about. Laundry hasn’t gotten done in the house for 3 days while I have been busy at the clinic. Laundry for a household of 6 individuals is a math problem. The amount of the problem one day grows not by multiples but by exponents every hour it isn’t being tackled. And when laundry isn’t getting done, the general house straightening isn’t either. Those two seemed to be very closely intertwined. On top of that, my desk is going to collapse soon under the weight of the mountains of paper that have been accumulating. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, household bills, monthly expense breakdowns, school papers needing graded, books needing put away, items needing ordered, and so much more litter every available surface of my U-shaped desk and the floor around it.
Added on top of these general chores piled up are the worries about the future. Will our landlord agree to extend the lease or do we need to move? How long will it be before we hear from him about the fate of the lease? Will his response be in time to get this other house that would work well for us before someone else snatches it up? When will we have the time to decorate for Christmas let alone do the Christmas shopping? Then, there is the baking and special menus for the holidays. And plans for a holiday card party for the college student while she is home. And so much more that I don’t even want to think about right now!
When I get into modes like this, my body and brain just shut down. It is like I can’t make myself do anything (which is a frustration within itself!). I know it needs to get done but I find myself so easily distracted by other things (like this blog LOL) and just want to sit and stare into space.
I wonder if that was what Mary was thinking and feeling in the Martha/Mary Scripture. I wonder if all of the tasks and blustering about that Martha was doing was getting to Mary and so she just zoned out of the impossible list of tasks and just spent her time instead gazing at the Lord.
The impossible task is to figure out how to do both. Chores need done, laundry needs washed, food needs prepared, and so much more needs done — but if we aren’t also sitting and gazing at our Lord, is any of it worth it? The answer to our restlessness and being overwhelmed doesn’t lie in time management or organizational tricks. The answer is in our God. He is the answer to all of it and when nothing seems possible He is where we need to turn. He is the sight we need to focus on to help us put our priorities back into perspective. He makes all things right and possible.