What I read today
Leviticus 17-18; Psalm 54; Isaiah 54; Luke 10; Ephesians 3
We seem to be crazy busy these days. Listening to my oldest daughter and her husband over fathers day weekend caused me to think. The description of the week went something like this, the two girls were participating in a tennis camp, their son participated in a reading camp. Practices were on Monday and Wednesday, and the girls had matches on Friday. The tennis matches ended at the exact same time that the reading camp for their son let out. On the days when the kids don’t have camps to attend, they have to be taken to the boys and girls clubs.
Both my daughter and her husband have had to take time off work to get kids to and from events. In the midst of all this the kids ask when they can go camping.
This is just during the summer. How crazy do you think the school year is going to look?
I’ve seen family holiday dinners leave some people entirely run ragged. How is it that what was supposed to be a fun family get together leaves some thoroughly exhausted?
In Luke 10 verse 38-42 we see Mary and Martha handling the stress of a dinner event with Jesus very differently. Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him. She’s taking the time to hear what he has to say, to learn from him and to grow in his grace.
Martha however, is worried about the details. She’s running herself ragged making sure all the dinner arrangements are completed to perfection. After a while, she gets angry with Mary. She looks at Jesus and says, “Hey I could use a little help here, how about sending my lazy sister over hear for a while?”
Jesus looks at her and says, Martha, the problem your having has nothing to do with Mary. The problem is what you’re focused on. You are worried about the details, you are concerned about making everything perfect, Martha you’re anxious about things that don’t matter.
Like Martha often we get distracted by things that don’t really matter. Rather than spending time sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from him, we worry about the carpet in the church that’s not cleaned the way we’d like it. Or maybe we worry about the decision that’s coming from our synodical body that we don’t like. It could be that we’re focusing on the details of some event that is coming up. We get so focused on those distractions that we miss the fact that sitting in front of us is Jesus.
Next time you are responsible for preparing and planning an event, and you find yourself worked up and angry, remember that the whatever your working on is not the important thing.
It’s the result of spending time with Jesus or our loved ones that you should be focused on. Someone who can turn water into wine and feed 5000 people with a few small loaves and a couple of fish is more than capable of working out the details of our Thanksgiving dinners.
Don’t let your desire for perfection leave you angry and exhausted. You only have a finite amount of time on this earth to spend with your loved ones. If you burn the dinner, you can always order pizza. Years from now you’ll have one heck of a story to tell!