Saturday, December 8, 2012

Martha, Martha, Martha

I'm a doer.

I have little patience for people who want to complain about what's wrong but refuse to take action. It's one of the reasons I choose not to serve on church committees. I have sat for hours listening to people analyze a situation and talk about how it got to be as "bad" as it is, but not one wants to just address the problem and FIX it.

Because of this, I'm not a great intercessor/prayer warrior. I pray for my friends and for needs as I am aware of them, but it's usually a sentence or two, or I write the person a note, and then I move on. I pray more as the situation comes to mind, but I don't devote time to it on a daily basis. I keep moving, rather than sit and contemplate and pray.

I was thinking recently about a list of prayer concerns or focuses I had for my son as the school year started. I put the list in a nice journal I made, right along side the concerns from previous years. But I rarely revisit it once it has been written. I write the list down and then get busy with life. I don't quiet myself and pray over those concerns in a formal way. I "hit them" when I think of them or when something comes up and the need is pressing.

At teacher convention back in October, we watched a skit about Mary and Martha from the Bible. I have never identified more with Martha than I did while watching the skit. In fact, I had to work at not just sobbing outright as I saw myself in this character on the screen.

Martha is NOT held up as a role model in scripture. Her sister Mary is the one who sits at the feet of Jesus, soaking up his presence. Martha is busy making food and preparing the home - and she is quite put out that her sister isn't helping! In the end of the skit, Martha is heartbroken when she realizes that she missed her moment to just BE with Jesus. And she can't get the moment back. In my head, I know that is me and that there is a challenge and a lesson in the story. But I turn right back into Martha, to do list in hand, come Monday morning.

I like being a do-er. I like taking action to fix something that will make someone else's life a little easier. I like feeling like I can make a difference for someone else by taking one task off their plate, or addressing a simple-to-fix problem so they don't have to wait for the powers-that-be to work it out.

But I don't want to busy my life away, either. I don't want to miss the encounter with Jesus - or with a student in need or with my family. I don't want to miss the wisdom, the peace, and the personal depth that can come from choosing to just "be."

As often as I have this realization, as often as I think about "savoring" a moment, it does NOT come naturally. It's not the first response that comes to mind.

So, how do I re-train myself to slow down and just be?

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