My life has been a mess this semester.
Like a full blown, hurricane of assignments and obligations and work. Every day I go about my time table where each hour counts and most of those hours I am standing up, running around ragged. My desk is a mess, my bed is a full-blow disaster, filled with books, food, assignments, highlighters, and the occasional water bottle. And let’s not even dive into my bag which is filled to the brim with protein bar wrappers and pieces of scrap paper.
This semester I purposefully overbooked myself. Why? Because somehow, in my little brain, I thought that would be a great idea. I wouldn’t be lazing about in my apartment, and I would be forced to get up and get out.
Why in the world did I think that was the solution to her problems of boredom?
I have been running around from waking up at 6am in the morning for personal training, going to internship at 9am, then class, dinner prep, youth group once a week, homework, etc. Each day is different with the only common denominator that I wake up early, and go to bed late, and dread each day.
There is another common denominator there. Do you see it?
I’ll give you a hint: besides youth group every Monday, I haven’t fit in God at all through the week.
Sure, I listen to Christian music on the way to my training and internship to start out my mornings. I have the occasional glimpse at the Bible or a verse from Twitter or Instagram and my youth group on Monday gears me up for the rest of the week. But really, it’s not a lot. And I’ve been neglecting Him a LOT.
I’d been dreading opening up my Bible and taking the time to study His words because that takes away from time for homework or any other obligations I made. Even praying seemed to take all my energy and I had conveniently stashed time away for it before bed (which of course ended in me droning off into sleep).
I subconsciously drew towards the mindset that I didn’t have time for God. I guess I figured that as long as I listened to my Christian music, and talked to Him once-in-a-while (basically whenever I needed something) that I’d be good until the semester ended, and my schedule cleared up. THEN I would have time for God.
But I realized the hard way, that life doesn’t work like that. God doesn’t work like that.
One day, after my workout, I went to my local Dunkin Donuts and opened up my Beth Moore Study Guide and forced myself to dive into God’s Word. And boy was I delivered a wake-up call.
The first thing I read was this:
“Life is hard. Trying to be strong apart from the grace that is in Christ Jesus can be as great a tragedy as the catalyst of our need.”
Boom. God really hit that nail on the coffin. Let me tell you, those words echoed through my head throughout my day, and week.
Remember the story of Mary and Martha? I heard it when I was little, and once or twice in church, but it never really registered with me. I mean, we’ve all been busy in our life but I didn’t realize how far you can kick God to the side until your standing in a burning building of busyness with nowhere to go.
The story is in Luke 10:38-42 and takes place at Mary and Martha’s house. Jesus was visiting their village and Martha welcomed Him into her home. Her sister Mary was there and took a great interest in Jesus and sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching.
While Mary was listening to all that Jesus had to teach Martha was serving and busy prepping everything, making sure it was all perfect. There was nothing wrong with serving the Lord, it was just that everything was becoming a distraction with all that serving. She got pretty annoyed that Mary wasn’t helping and complained to Jesus about it.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
First off, already from those first two words you can hear Christ’s endearment and love for Martha. He knew her good intentions, that she just wanted to serve Him fully. She just forgot to sit at Jesus’ feet.
In here we see three types of Christians:
Cue Mean Girls Lunch Room Scene
The Martha’s: The ones who have good intentions to serve God, but they just forget to add a focus onto Jesus and get consumed with the work part of it all.
The Mary’s: These are the ones who know how to serve the Lord and who also sit at Jesus’ feet.
The Neither’s: These are the people who are too busy with their own pursuits of the world. They didn’t even come to the house party with Jesus because they saw a better one down the street.
As I write this I realize I am a mix of Martha and Neither. Especially at this point in my life.
There I admitted it. It’s okay, you can too. The thing is, what are we going to do about it?
Jesus told Mary that she is anxious and troubled (um check yes for me in that department, especially with finals near). He says that one thing has to change; only ONE. And that is that sitting at the feet of Jesus and putting our focus on Him. Martha and Mary were both doing great works for the Lord, however, Mary’s was the “good portion,” meaning her spiritual works would live on with her forever. While Martha’s works would die with her.
I feel like in college many of us are stuck as Martha’s or Neither’s, or somewhere in-between. We get caught up with classes and tests and assignments and jobs and friends, and internships, etc. And each time, the Bible gets pushed off to the side and textbooks, Netflix, and online shopping take their place.
At a first glance, I look at Martha with my mouth wide open like, “You had the chance to sit and listen to Jesus and you didn’t? What?” But then I realize, isn’t that what I am doing? What some of you may be doing? We choose Netflix and stress over God. We try to handle our problems on our own and decide to cry alone in bed when we can’t handle the stress.
Matthew 11:28 tells us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Yet, we make excuses and reasons why we can’t, why we don’t have time for God that we are “too busy.”
What I learned is that God will give us rest. He will help us through our stress and qualms. We just have to sit at His feet and listen.
I challenge you to open up your Bibles this week. Read from one of the books you’ve never read from before, or study a commentary on a certain passage. Open up the lines of communication again and listen to what God has to say. Pray, read, praise, whatever gets you close to God. Try it. And see how you feel.
This is easier said than done. Believe me, I am still struggling with it as I write this. It won’t happen overnight. It’s something we have to work on, day-by-day. Going back to that fire example I made above, we will walk through that fire of our mess and helplessness, but we are not alone. God stretches out His hand to us and walks us back towards Him, towards safety and peace and joy.
We just have to sit at His feet.