Avoid The Race

On your mark, get set….the tension is mounting, do you feel it? The Christmas decor is beckoning to be dusted off from attics and storage. Carols are playing, filling our senses with joy, memories, and anxiety for all that needs to be purchased, baked, wrapped, and given. Our days seem shorter and our lists seem longer. What ever happened to Thanksgiving? That day of being grateful for all we have  so generously been blessed with…it’s become a day for the race to begin…..ready….GO!

Martha understood the frenzy. People were coming to her house for dinner, not just “people”, but Jesus! How thrilling, overwhelming and exhausting. I can only imagine what she must have been feeling as she “opened her home to Him.” What an honor. What a blessing. What a frenzied ball of nerves she must have been, like a turkey avoiding the dinner plate. Everything must be in place for such an honored guest. But then, that annoying sister….

Mary, Martha’s sister, “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” She just sat there! How rude. Martha is racing around preparing for their distinguished guest and her sister is just sitting, effortlessly at Jesus feet. How lazy, how wrong, how blind Mary was to poor Martha’s full blown anxiety attack. So, like many sisters would do, Martha tattles. She runs to Jesus, like a child, whining of how unfair life seems and demands a change. Commanding Jesus.   It’s like when our kids run to us demanding we reprimand their sibling for whatever alarming offense just occurred. Likely, there is blame to share.

Jesus response touches my own anxious heart. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better…”. Can you hear the gentleness in His voice, the tenderness? He doesn’t scold her or seem indifferent to her temper tantrum. He sees her anxiety and reminds her of what she really needs. She only needs ONE thing…and that is Him.

Oh to sit at the feet of Jesus, enjoying the company of our Father who adores and delights in us. To stop running about with our long lists, checking them twice, trying to be nice…but at the end of the day feeling worn out and more like Scrooge. What if we just sit and linger with Jesus? He is our source of joy, peace and love. Those are the gifts that our family and friends REALLY need, and we have it to offer, IF we receive it ourselves.

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Don’t race past it my friends. When your internal alarms start sounding, feeling the tension of all that needs to be done, remember Mary. Choose what is better. Wake up in the morning and sit at Jesus feet. Drink in the goodness of time spent with Him so you can pour it out on your family and friends. Don’t put all your hopes into the perfect dinner, or expect perfect behavior from your family, setting yourself up to be perfectly disappointed. Put your hope in the perfect One, who brings perfect peace. You can do all things through Him!

May His peace flood your homes this Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family, friends, food and fellowship. What a blessed life we have been given!

Luke 10:38-42~38 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.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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