Psalm 62:1 (NIV) Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
What I knew
I was always taught “idle hands are the devils playground.” It has stuck with me all throughout my life. Always busying myself with task, some meaningful and some meaningless. Then, I became a mother and applied that to my children. Signing them up for classes, keeping their weekly calendar full with outings, play dates and activities. Teaching them that they should always have something to do and not allowing them to have time of rest or leisure.When I came back to Christ a few years ago, I was reintroduced to the story of Mary and Martha.
Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) “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.”
For the first time in my adult life, I wanted to be a “Mary.” Previously, I took pride in the fact that I was an exceptional multitasker and exemplary at time management. I realized slowing down and taking time to just “be still” was an admirable trait.
Why is Busyness Applauded?
Many people are always on the go, until they reach exhaustion. Busyness is considered great and stillness is considered lazy. When we are still we are able to hear God, be closer with Him and use His guidance.
Mark 6:31-32 (NIV)
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Are we valuing our relationships?
Being busy also keeps us from having meaningful relationships with others. We are so wrapped up in the go-go;we aren’t fostering our communities and fellowship which is very important.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Are we being meaningful and present in our relationships that are important, like our spouse or children? Are we filling our time and presence with stuff and activities? Is it worth the stress and isolation to be task oriented?
My “Aha” Moment
The story of Mary and Martha was an epiphany for me. I discovered I wanted to fellowship, devote more time to God and my family and friends. Have a more meaningful and present relationship with the people in my life. It gave me the permission that I needed to slow down and reduce, so that I could be more like Mary. When I am planning for my children now, it’s memorable experiences versus expertise in activities. I spend quality time with my husband daily and my stress level is low. I am living the “Mary” lifestyle and enjoying the moments instead of calculating my time.
Does busy equal important? Which would you prefer the “Mary” or “Martha” lifestyle?