“I can’t believe it is already December.”
“Where has this year gone?”
“Only 25 more days until Christmas!”
“Three more days left to purchase at this price. Buy now.”
Maybe you have heard some of this comments. Maybe you have made some of them. Maybe you are already feeling the stress of the coming holidays. Maybe, like me, you have a number of Christmas parties and events on your December calendar along with some appointments you are not anticipating with joy, like a doctor’s visits, or medical procedures, or a root canal.
It can be overwhelming.
And so I think of Mary and Martha, which is not exactly a Christmas story (Luke 10). But perhaps it can apply to the busyness of our lives at this particular time of the year.
There have been too many years when I crammed too many activities into a too full schedule. Some years were spent in frantic “I can do this, I can do this” auto-pilot mode. Those years blur in my memory.
The mere fact that I am older, and hopefully wiser, makes me consider the way I spend my time, plus my energy level is not what it used to be. Maybe I have come to understand a bit more what is really important in living my life.
Back to Mary and Martha. Martha was a busy woman with food to prepare for a crowd, much like me sometimes. Jesus and His disciples had come to her home expecting to eat something, I’m sure. She was only doing what was expected of her. She was doing a good thing by filling up hungry tummies.
In her desire to do a good thing, she became distracted, frustrated, irritated, and stressed. The Amplified Bible says she was “over occupied and too busy.” Anyone identify?
Jesus became the focus of her frustrations when she confronted Him, asking Him “Don’t you care . . . ?”
My initial response is shock at her audacity. How could Martha be so bold to ask the Lord of all creation if He cared?”
I have asked the question myself, maybe not in those words.
Jesus response always touches me because He addresses her by name, “Martha, Martha.” It is as if she is whirling about so much that He has to call her twice to get her attention. I’ve been there, too.
Jesus told Martha, and He tells me and you today, that Mary chose the better portion, the only thing that was really necessary.
I perceive from this story that resting awhile by sitting at the Lord’s feet to hear what He has to say is more important than anything else I think I need to do.
Everything else comes after that.
There are lots of good things we can do this December, lots of people we can remember with a gift, an act of service, or a kind word. There are lots of places to go and friends to celebrate with and programs to enjoy. There are parties, shopping, decorating, shopping, wrapping, shopping, and entertaining to do.
If just the thought of it all begins to stress you out, choose the best activity of the day all through this month of December.
Sit at the Lord’s feet with the Bible in your lap and listen, really listen to what He has to say about it all.
Make some wise choices this month. Remember it is OK to say “no” to something that is good so that what is better can be part of your December.
Ask the One who is the reason we celebrate Christmas to direct your steps. And have a happy, slowed down, best Christmas yet.