Being Still…

28 Mar

For the last number of months, it’s been my routine to attend a Friday night church service. I find it helps me break the “I’m so fried from the week” syndrome that courses through my veins by the time Friday afternoon rolls around. I like the comradery of fellowship in the context of worship. It’s a nice way to be with people while also remaining internal and quiet, which is kind of what I need by the end of the week.

This Friday however, I simply fell asleep. I thought swimming after work would energize me (as it usually does) but I could barely move through the normally soothing water. So when I woke up at 6:45 pm, I realized I probably wasn’t going to make it to my service. But I so wanted to go, I got in the car thinking somehow by my sheer will, I’d get there in time. Of course this was sheer nonsense and five minutes onto the freeway, I realized the ship had sailed so instead stopped at the bookstore. The next best thing to a sacred space…

It’s so funny the way the Lord works, putting us exactly where we most need to be. Moving around the tables, I found myself in front of a display table highlighting — books for Easter. Perusing them, I got my dose of religion after all, including a look at the Tim Keller book that was recently recommended. However, what struck my eye was a book entitled, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.” I gravitated toward the book, as the story of Mary and Martha is one of my most favorite in the bible. It tells of the two sisters having Jesus to their house and how Martha becomes upset when Mary fails to help in the kitchen. Instead, Mary sits at the feet of Jesus enraptured by his company. When Jesus hears Martha basically harping on Mary, he replies, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it – it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke, 10: 41-42 – in “The Message”).

I love this. “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much…” If my cats could talk, they would say the same thing to me. “Lise, dear, Lise, you’re fussing far too much…” How often do we run around, caught up in domestic duties only to neglect what is truly important – spirituality, our loved ones, our hobbies or our health? How often is it that we slow down enough to “Be still and know that I am God”? 

I love my Friday night service. I love the music. The quiet. The sensation of Love I encounter and experience. It is a different feeling than a Sunday service, although that too is meaningful to me. But sometimes we just need to be still. Even more still than we get at church (for that has its own noise and chaos at times). No car. No fuss. No conversations. 

Just for today… No errands. No chores. No bills. No paperwork. No social activity. No dates. No parties. 

Be still and know…

Ah…In the quiet of my heart, I can feel the peace. Tonight I needed to be Mary; not Martha.

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