When someone asks me how I am doing, my response ninety-nine percent of the time is something to the equivalent of, “Good! Busy, but good!” Our society glorifies people who are busy. For some reason, we see busy as good, as something to strive towards. I can’t tell you how many times I have boasted on my multi-tasking abilities (like I have any). But where does it say that being so busy that you can’t see straight means you are doing something right?
I go to a young adult service at a local church on Fridays. One night the pastor spoke on the Sabbath day. He talked about how we are to keep it holy, and why we should take a Sabbath. As someone who has grown up in church, I’ve heard this message a couple times. But, as always, I learned something new.
The Bible tells us in Mark that Jesus left everyone, early in the morning, to be alone with God. Obviously spending time with His Father was a big deal for Him. If Jesus, the One who can do anything, felt like He needed to take a breather, than who am I to think I can do anything less?
You see the Sabbath at the beginning of the whole world. On the seventh day, God Himself rested. Why do we feel like we can constantly be going, when even God rested? Let me say this, I can’t do more than God can. If God needed a break after six days of creating, than you know I need a break after six days of living!
One of my favorite stories, one that convicts me the most, is the story of Mary and Martha with Jesus. Luke tells this story. Jesus and His disciples came to stay at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha was the busy one, always moving. I’m pretty sure her love language was acts of service, because she spent the entire time working to make sure that dinner was on time, that the silverware (or whatever it is that they had) was clean, and that the house was spick and span for her special guest. Mary, on the other hand, probably had the love language of quality time. She decided to sit at the feet of Jesus and gain wisdom from His words. Martha gets all upset with Mary and goes to Jesus to say something to Him about it. His response is one that always gets me, every single time:
“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen better, and it will not be taken from her.'”
Yikes. Here is the thing. I am a doer. If I have the option, I will do something instead of sitting still. I’m sure many of you are the same way. If Jesus came to my house, I can easily see myself as Martha, stressed out about the fact that my cake over baked and that my chicken is dry.
My point in all of this is as follows: sometimes, doing is overrated. I’m starting to learn that there is a power to just being. Mary was with Jesus. She was just there, soaking up His every word. Jesus left everyone to recharge by hearing from His Father. And here are me and Martha, cleaning up the house, doing the homework, serving at church, and not thinking about stopping to be with Jesus at all.
There is a song I heard for the first time that night at my young adult group. It’s called “I Will Be Still”. I’ll put a link right here if you want to listen to it. It is a beautiful song. Can you imagine just being still? I think that is exactly what God wants for us. It’s why He made the Sabbath. He wants us to be still, to be rested and restored by Him.