If you were to be able to be a fly on the wall in my home, one thing you would notice is that from the moment I get up I am a flurry of activity. I think I resemble an out-of-control pinball zipping back and forth. I got that from my Dad, I think. He was very much the same way. The best way to describe us is fireballs of energy always on the go. By the time lunch rolls around, I usually have checked off dozens of items on my to-do list.
- Get up
- Make bed
- Get dressed
- Do devotion and prayer
- Check emails/Facebook
- Run 5K
- Make breakfast and eat
- Get kids started in school
- Dust house
- Sweep house
- Vacuum bedrooms
- Wipe down bathrooms
- Clean window sills
- Sweep porches
- Run to the store
- Make lunch
That's just my average Monday before lunch to-do list. Like I said... flurry of activity. The after lunch list is just as crazy. The most difficult thing for me is to be forced to sit and do nothing. Last year when I had to have my pacemaker installed (yes, I have a pacemaker at age 40!) the first thing I asked the doctor wasn't "How dangerous is this?" or "How long will I be in the hospital?" My question was, "When can I start running again?"
Here's a problem, though. We have a tendency to equate this flurry of activity and long to-do lists with spirituality. God puts a high value on learning to rest.
Psalm 23:2 "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."
Sometimes to get me to rest, God has to make me lie down. When I had the pacemaker put in and when I had my gall bladder removed are good examples. Sometimes I struggle to hear His voice when He says, "Go lie down." I am more like Martha than Mary. I am Martha on overdrive. I don't usually complain about not having help. I enjoy the work, but sometimes I forget God wants me to stop and rest at His feet. Why? I have to admit that sometimes my truck load of a to-do list is a source of pride. I am a highly productive person, and it makes me feel spiritual, important, and useful. I equate productivity with spirituality. When my husband asks me how my day was, my day is judged on how productive I was. If my to-do list was accomplished I smile big and say, "It was productive!"
Yet Jesus praised Mary's choice to sit at His feet. He didn't have to force Mary to sit still. She chose to lie down in green pastures.
Luke 10:42 "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Me? He seems to repeatedly have to physically make me lie down. I am that crazy sheep in the pasture running around sweeping up leaves, inventorying the blades of grass, bopping from sheep to sheep asking how their meal is, checking the sun in the sky to see what time it is, and preparing for when it's time to move again.
All the while, the Shepherd, in His kindness and wisdom, is saying, "Rest!"
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Don't equate productivity with spirituality. Spirituality is following the Shepherd's lead. When He says work, it's time to work. When He says rest, lie down!