I’m pulling this 2-year-old blog out of the vault because I feel that this topic is crucial to the season we are in. In the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, we need to return to our First Love. If we’re overcome by worry, anxiety, and fear, that’s a sure sign that we’ve lost sight of the love of God. Spend time with your loving Father.
On most days, you can find me corralling a 6-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 15-month-old. The school year has begun and I am now homeschooling the two older ones. Along with taking care of the kids, I also take care of household duties—cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc.
My husband and I live in and manage a 34-unit apartment complex, which includes duties such as finding tenants, collecting rent, dealing with tenant issues, cleaning vacant units, and taking care of the facilities.
We also recently purchased a fixer-upper to use as a rental, so we’re in the middle of remodeling.
I volunteer, plan parties, cook meals for friends, grocery shop, read books, attend small groups, chauffer kids to events, go to playdates, make calls, write blogs, etc. etc. etc.
In other words, I’m busy. If you’re like me (which I am sure you are), you are busy too. We are a busy society.
And if our schedules aren’t chaotic enough, we use every spare second we have to text our friends and update our statuses on social media. We take advantage of every moment of every day…and our to-do lists still don’t get completed!
Since when did busyness become a virtue? We practically brag about how busy we are nowadays, as if that is where our value comes from. Or maybe we use it as an excuse. The fact is, this is nothing new. In Luke 10:38-42, we read about a woman named Martha who has gotten caught up in the same mindset:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
It’s not as if being busy and taking care of our households is wrong, but oftentimes we neglect what is most important. Jesus says that Mary chose what is better, and that was to sit in His presence and listen.
Have we, too, forgotten to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen?
I am very fortunate to have given birth to a rather needy baby fifteen months ago. Why, you ask? Since the time of her birth, I have been forced to sit in a dim, quiet room, silently comforting and feeding my baby for 20-30 minutes at a time several times a day.
At first, this was torturous for me. I had so much stuff to get done! And here I am just sitting getting nothing accomplished! I was left in silence to sit and think.
Then something amazing happened—I heard from God.
I began to cherish these moments where I could leave all the distractions, all the housework, all the clutter and never-ending to-do lists behind and just be.
Sometimes God would use this time to comfort me during days of turmoil. Sometimes He would reveal deep heart issues within me. Many times He opened my eyes to wisdom that could only be found in Him. And I didn’t even have to do anything special. I wasn’t sitting in my chair thinking, “Ok. Focus on God. Just focus on God.” No. He was already right there with me, waiting to spend time with me.
As our church enters a time of fasting this week, I want to challenge each of you to set aside time in your day for silence before God. I’m guessing that most of you know the importance of this, but how many of us are actually practicing this? The thing that bridges the gap between knowing something in your head and truly knowing something in your heart is experience. We need to experience the power and the benefits of something before we truly grasp the importance of it and have the motivation to continue in good works and good habits.
So let that be my encouragement for you: Even if you don’t feel like sitting in silence for 20-30 minutes a day, do it anyway. It doesn’t have to be in a dark room, either. Perhaps you can sit out in your garden or go on a hike. And then see what God does. I bet He’s been waiting to spend time with you too.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.