Resisting A Rest
Any other Martha’s out there? Dear ones I am a Martha with a capital ‘M’. Often described as a unstoppable train, just point me in the right direction, put me down, and watch me work. I am a Martha among Martha’s. I am a mover, a shaker, a candlestick maker… or anything else that needs done, built, organized, administrated, bossed around. Pretty much anything that involves lots of action, I’m there.
And I’m really ‘there’ when it comes to ministry. I LOVE being knee-deep in it. Working for Jesus is by far the most exciting thing in my life.
I thought that was all well and good until this summer, when God not only pulled the red cord on the train to initiate the brakes… He literally ripped the brakes off the train. My life has come to a screeching, bone-achingly calm…. stop.
I know I’m not in trouble, but I do think that God in His great mercy knew that my Martha-ness would probably continue to overshadow what sliver of Mary-ness I have… so He is forcing me to rest. And I (honesty here…) have been resisting a rest.
But not anymore, because I’m stuck. I mean like, God-stuck, not moving, nowhere to go, no one to turn to, no place to apply. I’ve got all the time in the world and someOne to spend it with. I know it, I see it, I’m not necessarily against it… and yet, I keep finding myself trying to jump into work again. Yes, resisting is definitely a good word for it.
Unlike Martha, I’m perfectly happy to let others sit at Jesus feet. I see and understand the importance of these Mary’s. Often the Mary’s in my life pour into me like nobody else can. I appreciate them so much. Sometimes I want to be more like them, but more often than not, I don’t- because I like the work. I like the busy, the controlled chaos, the crazy, and the hustles and bustle. Furthermore, I don’t need the accolades, I don’t particularly enjoy any recognition. I really do just like the work for the work.
I’ve discovered, however, that sometimes I put the work before the worship. I am a firm believer that work IS a form of worship, (…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col. 3:17) However, I’m learning there’s something to be said for sitting down, being still, resting at the feet of Jesus. Work, even work for Christ, is only part of the equation. Sometimes I think that resting in God slows us down enough to see, smell, hear, touch- to know better Who it is that all this work is for. Without rest, we can’t fully know this God that we so ardently work for.
Rest is a necessary evil in my world usually. But through God’s grace I’m seeing how important it is to simply sit at His feet too. God is a god of relationship, of spending time, of just hanging out. My interaction with Him doesn’t have to be work-filled all the time… He’s not a slave-drive or demanding master full of a list of to-do’s for my ministry. And more than that, God wants me to rest. (That by itself it an astounding thought to me!)
I’ve been resistant, but not as much because I’m slowly seeing the value in resting. Admittedly I’m really bad at it still. I mean terrible. All this time on my hands and you’d think I’d be spending hours upon hours in my Bible and worshipfully meditating on podcasts, songs, etc. I’m not.
Being Mary is way harder for us Martha’s than you think. Being still is as much a discipline as being busy. I’m working on it though. I write often on the disciplining of our minds- usually in the realm of taking fear and worry captive- however, being still of mind is just as hard and needs just as much practice. That is most definitely an area that I need work on.
But I’m working (pun-intended!) on resting more. Resisting a rest with God goes just about as well as it does down here on earth. I need to stop looking around for what I could be doing and start looking at Jesus.
Which is really what I should be doing.