“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, NIV
It was Sunday. I had slept in. Again. My sister needed help moving some things and our family had already called an hour before to ask if I could help. Granted, they had asked the day before but I was sure I would be ready way before they came to load her things….
But, I had stayed up late, well early, the night before. Anxiously getting done what I thought I should be doing. Confessing. Quoting scripture. Aimlessly walking my room. Writing. Thinking. Meditating. Making sure I would not lose not one bit of the revelation the Lord had given me throughout the week. Even though I had kept Saturday as a day of rest, it was easy to slip back into what I call the motions, carry about something, anything of importance, seeking something to do.
I got up briskly with out a hallelujah to my breath and rushed to take a shower, brush my teeth and get some clothes on. Uncommon for me, for I like to spend mornings talking to God but this time I was so adamant about keeping my word to my sister and family (keeping time..) that I got up immediately with no prayer. Rushing. Just getting by.
As I was rushing to get ready for the day, hating myself secretly for not getting up in time to get the Bible out and pray, I heard the Lord say something so clearly to me in my heart that I could not shake:
“One thing is needful..”
I wish I could say that I stopped what I was doing, raised my hands up to God in prayer.
No. Actually. The more I heard The Lord saying this, the more I carried on with my activities, pushing out the door, saying in my heart.
“I heard you God..but it’s too late now. I have to keep my word…I gotta go”
But He kept saying it..and it has not left me since.
One thing is needful…meaning, one thing is needed. The Lord was referring to the story Luke recorded in Luke 10:38-42.
Martha loved Jesus. Jesus loved Martha..but because she was so busy and flustered and anxious about what she thought was so important, she could not receive the love He gave her so she could learn how to be at peace with who she is now.
She was even doing things for The Lord. Things that are considered important.
But what we must learn from is Mary’s example.
Even though there were things that needed to get done, like serving their guests, cooking meals, cleaning after them, making sure The Lord and His disciples were able to recline and relax in their own home, she found what she truly desired.
Him. God Himself as a man, teacher, rabbi who gave them the law of Moses in a better way, a new way. God’s Words of wisdom that converts souls and makes men wise. God was right there in front of her, and she could not give up that moment for miscellaneous chores or duties.
She had to sit. Think..listen to the One Who could make her life worthwhile again. The One Who could give her everlasting life. The One Who could teach her all and make her into a new creation. Her focus was on Him. Not on the duties and cares of this life. No nothing but on Him.
And that wisdom, comfort, and promise of life, the life God has for her, would not be taken from her.
I kept trying to do things for God in the late night that affected my ability to spend time with Him in the here and now. Even though all these things are important, like staying up late to make sure I was retaining all that He has given more, or even the effort of trying to keep my word, (something that I had to work on that He needed to help me with) even my motives were in a sense, in effort to please God. Nonetheless, He was showing me, and still is showing me how taking time out to spend with Him is what matters. And sitting still. No works. No walking back wards and forwards. No not that. But.
Listening. Sitting still to listen to Him. That is what is needed. That is what is required. That is what God desires for us.
Because He knows we need it.
Success is not determined by activity. But success is determined by listening and learning from the One Who Knows It All.
God looks forward for us to sit before Him to listen, and learn from Him. He knows when we don’t we tend to get anxious, shiftlessly moving onto one project or another. Hoping that God will be pleased enough with your work.
But you know what I found? The faster I move, the more activity I do for the sake of doing rather than knowing who I am and why God created me, I become tired.
I lose the will to fight. And I become withdrawn. I become weak.
I am pulled down further by the weights I carry throughout the week. Weights of what I could have done for God,and should have done, want to do, can’t do…etc, etc.
That weight of what we think we should do, and what we know we should do for God, can stifle the whole reason why we came to the faith in the first place.
Only one thing is needed. Only one thing matters. Sitting at the feet of God, The Father, and listening to Him speak to you. He is the One that has all the answers. He is the One you can learn from. And that was what she was missing. Time with the One Who can heal, fix and the learn from. Activity does not equal success. But success is listening and learning from The One Who Wisdom comes from.
Because this one thing, relationship with God can not be taken away from us. Everything in our lives is fleeting. Even the relationships we have now will come to an end one way or another. Our lives here are but a vapor.
Relationship with The Father is the only thing that will last after all your works are done on this Earth.
After it is all said and done, what truly matters is the relationship you have with God. And you can’t develop a strong relationship with anyone by running in circles around them.
Instead, you make out time to spend with them.
You sit still. And you listen to them. You quiet yourself and look into their eyes and give them all your attention. Because you are waiting to hear from them and learn and understand.
You make them first.
Take time out.
God has taken out time to always listen to you. You can do the same by giving up all your obligations for a set period of time, being still and sitting before The Teacher’s feet to learn and listen.
Jesus said: “Come o Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Learn from Me. He says.
And take time to breathe. Decompress and be filled with His Love and Wisdom. Be a learner forever…not always a doer.
However, you must take the time to sit still and listen.
Lord Jesus. I ask you to forgive me for being so works, and activity minded I forgot why I serve in the first place. It is You who I really want, need and desire. I ask you to heal my heart, turn it back towards you. Let it stay fixed on you so that I can stand or sit still, before you and just take time out to listen, and learn from Your Wisdom. You are The Teacher. I am the student. Your Voice carries all that I need to focus in this world and become all You have made me to be.
God I know you will help me be a more quiet and patient child, that can accept and learn of you. Take my burdens off my shoulders and keep me safe in your embrace.
Help me rest in your Unfailing Joy and Love toward me.
Thank you for making me learn the way you do things. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus.
In Jesus’s Name I pray.
God bless you, I pray He takes away the insecurity of work too and gives you the joy of being a son and daughter of God, a pupil of the Most High Son of God.
Quieting myself to the one Who can make me know all things. Making me more like Him.