I was recently having a gmail chat with a dear friend that I don’t see nearly often enough. I was horribly missing her companionship and perspective in my life and began completely unloading all the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head.
In the middle of the conversation, this came out:
I’m trying to find the balance between being uncomfortable where I am (stretching) and yet still having peace…working hard and adhering to all those proverbs about sowing/plowing/working/being like ants, and also adhering to Scripture that says “be still” and Jesus’ example of leaving the crowds to be in the garden or the boat to rest and pray…balance is hard
If I take the time to sit down, I feel lazy… if I exhaust myself running around, I feel like Martha…
This is the crux of my life right now. And its a tough one to figure out.
I know the story of Mary and Martha, and every so often it makes its way back to the forefront of my mind. I don’t want to be a Martha…but how do I become a Mary?
So much of Scripture also commands diligent, hard work: One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (Prov. 18:9) And perhaps most applicably this summer, the comparison to the ant: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer (Proverbs 30:25).
And one of the most compelling to me–Proverbs 31. Most of this Scripture passage refers to business, work, and responsibilities. It says things such as “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family” and “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks” and “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” How does one live up to that example and yet still be a “Mary”?
How do I become this diligent, hard working, providing wife without losing the ability to sit at the feet of my Lord?
Scripture said that Martha was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Boy does that describe me sometimes (especially during the holiday season…which isn’t too far away).
Shortly after my conversation that sparked these thoughts, a migraine hit me from out of nowhere…I’m talking serious vision disturbance, distorted equilibrium, severe pain, nausea… Bad.
I left work early and went home to rest. The severe pain eventually subsided, but the residual pain and fogginess remained. It’s what I call “migraine hangover.” For two more days I was forced to slow down, take my time, not expend so much energy, not get distracted by my long to-do list.
Perhaps it was my body forcing me to give it what it needs…even to my own detriment and pain. I needed to slow down. To take things one little step at a time, approaching my responsibilities with care. To not get “distracted” by preparations and responsibilities.
It was a reminder that I need balance.
Perhaps the best answer to my quandary is simply to counsel myself with the words of my Lord: “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.”