Mary, I am not

Please forgive my yoda-speak. I’ve been thinking about that story where two women interact with Jesus–one named Mary, one named Martha. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, adoring Him, listening to Him, being with Him while Martha bothers herself with tasks and weariness.

Mary, I am not.

And, therefore, merry, I am not.

Martha, I have become.

Planting a church is hard. Being in a foreign country amplifies its difficulties. Loving my children, extending hospitality, going to meetings, organizing worship, paying bills, writing nearly full-time, cleaning–it’s all too much. From task to task to task I flit. I’m Martha on steroids.

If I shut my eyes, I can see Mary, adoration adorning her face. When I look in the mirror I don’t see adoration, I see apathy and fatigue.

Maybe it’s just because the end of the year has caught up with me. It’s been a roller-coaster year, with, oddly, mostly uphill climbs and few exhilarating twists and loop-de-loops. Maybe my body has caught up with my tired heart. Maybe I just need some encouragement.

Ever feel that way?

The truth is, I want to be both merry and Mary. I see how I want my life to be–as a girl dedicated to Jesus, sitting at His scarred feet, hearing His song over my heart. Instead of flitting, I’d rather be hearing His tasks from His mouth, His encouragement.

What is it in me that keeps going and going and going without this holy fuel?

I can say this. Martha has got to go. She’s wearing me out. She’s wearing my heart out.

Lord, I want to be Mary. I want to be merry. Sitting at Your feet is the best place. Take me there today. I need Your refreshment, Your words, Your encouragement. I need to hear You, need to know You’re not terribly disappointed in me for my frailty and my addiction to frenetic activity. Slow me down. Hold me close. Help me to see it’s all about being near You and not about doing a bunch of things that look like dedication. Make me Mary and merry.

Amen.

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