Don't Postpone Joy (Joy in the Journey)
Martha had had enough. Her sister Mary had done it again, left her to do all the work while she just sat there. Martha had become distracted by all the preparations. And though the very source of Joy was with her, all she could focus on were her responsibilities.
“But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42
But how can life really be about one thing? Without Martha, no food would have been served.
On a slow morning, sitting on a dock facing the inter-coastal waterway in Wilmington, NC, I am once again pondering how to be a Mary without neglecting my responsibilities.
Though it is October, the mid morning sun is warming the steady breeze as it massages my face. As I look across the gray blue waterway, white caps are ushering the tide to my right. The rhythmic waves lap upon the shore only interrupted by the rubbing of the floating docks along the pile driven wooden poles, the squawking of sea birds and the distant sound of a dog’s bark.
I have sought my own answers to this quandary for years, but this morning it all seems clear. No profound answers are given, only His strong hand outstretched; inviting me to give Him my concerns, so we can be about His. Together, He will show me how to live a Mary life in a Martha world.
My cares are safely sealed, waiting for His command to be revealed. I need not hold them in my mind with Mary at His feet.
Two light yellow butterflies dart across the rolling tide. Above the water flow, there is a lime green strip of land below a line of emerald trees, couching white, multi-storied buildings in the distance. Above the tree line, a cloudless sky rises in deeper shades of pastel blue towards the heavens.
Wow! This is joy, this trusting, this resting, this enjoying His presence. Is this abiding?
So, what now? I could regret millions moments of life which have passed me by, but I will not.
I will go forth from here with a deeper understanding of what Jesus meant when he told me not to worry, but to seek His business, His Kingdom, His supremacy in all of life.
All that other stuff, the stuff I seem to focus on, what I will eat and what I will wear and what I will drink – He has got that. He and I have more important things to do, like enjoying this very moment together.
And by the way, when I am doing that (Enjoying moments of life with Him) we will love the people we meet along the way, together.
"Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others." John Piper
In His Presence is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11)
Joy in the Journey
As we forge into our work week we can carry in our phone or day timer or scrap of paper a list of things we don't want to forget. I often call them duties.
Duties. Even the word sounds heavy. And I think the reason is that sometimes our hearts aren't engaged. We are reduced to human doings rather than human beings.
What if we looked at this list differently, taking our focus off of what we do and look to who we are with: God our ever present help (Psalm 46) and those he brings our way.
I believe that these duties will be transformed into delights.
On my phone today there is no duty list of things that need my attention. I have a list, but it is my delight list.
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8 ESV)
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This is about guarding your heart and making sure you keep it clear of clutter and corruption before the Lord.