Life is so busy. Things to do. Places to be. People to see. Errands to run. Appointments to keep. Sometimes our to-do lists can get seriously overloaded and the week ahead can start to resemble something akin to a military training schedule – you just grit your teeth and get through it! Take me for instance – here is a list of some of the ‘appointments’ that have been in the Jelf family diary over the last two weeks: (I bet some of you can out-“do” me!?):
One doctors appointment
One infant vaccination appointment
One birthday party
Two grocery shops
One appointment with the school nurse
One hospital appointment
One lunch date with friends
Two Dinner dates at our house
Two Toddler Group outings
Two Youth Group outings
One Swimming trip
One Ice-skating trip
One Home-schooling Group Meeting
One parent’s evening
One Prayer Meeting
One Ladies Bible Study Group
Sometimes I think I should just sell the house and live in the car. Sound familiar? Phew! It’s enough to make you dizzy, isn’t it?! This week, my husband and I actually had to schedule in time to talk to one another! I kid you not! So much to do…so little time. It can be hard to find time for each other. It can be hard to find time for ourselves. It can be harder still to find time for God.
This morning I was reading Psalm 27, written by David, who was affectionately known as a ‘man after God’s own heart’. It says:
“One thing I have asked of the Lord, that shall I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”
David must have had a few appointments. After all, he was the King! He must have had a few things on his to-do list. He probably DID have a military training schedule to attend to! But his single wish, his heart’s desire was to pursue a relationship with God. There was one place he wanted to be more than any other….in the presence of God. One thing he wanted to do more than any other…to behold the beauty of the Lord – to catch a glimpse of His glory! Later in the Psalms David writes “Better is one day in Your House, than thousands elsewhere“. David yearned for the presence of God as one would thirst for water in a dry and parched land. Only one thing could truly satisfy.
As I was reading the Psalm, I felt the Lord remind me of the well known story of Martha and Mary. Martha and Mary were two ordinary women, who lived in an ordinary village. On one particular day however, they had a far from ordinary appointment in their diary! You see, Jesus was coming over to their house for dinner! When Jesus arrived, Mary went and sat at His feet, listening to his teaching. But poor old Martha. No. The story tells us that “Martha was distracted with much serving”. She was probably rushing around trying to make sure everything was tidy, and working hard to put on a good spread. And perhaps that would have been just fine with Jesus, if she had done it with a cheerful heart. But….it wasn’t long before Martha got a bee in her bonnet. She went up to Jesus and said “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” I can just see her, hand on hip, foot tapping, finger wagging. Sadly, I can see me too.
And then came Jesus’ response. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”
There are so many things that can crowd in on us – crowding God out. So many things shouting for our attention. Appointments. Chock-a-block-diaries. Schedules. Plans. It’s so easy to become distracted. Jesus’ words are still so apt today. We can be anxious and troubled about so many things, when only one thing is necessary – a heart like Mary’s that chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and a heart like David’s that couldn’t think of anywhere on earth he’d rather be than in the courts of the King.
I know what you’re thinking. Wait a minute. We can’t just all sit around reading the bible all day. Who would wash the socks? Who would feed the children? Not to mention the cat? Who would do the shopping and the school run? Martha had a point. I mean, someone had to cook Jesus’ dinner. But what I’m learning is, it’s a heart thing. Jesus wants us all to have a ‘one thing’ mentality, even during our crazy, hectic, full-on days! It’s not about whether we’re busy or not – it’s about where our treasure is. Our hearts desire should be firstly for Him. Doesn’t God command us to love Him with all our heart and soul and mind? Of course we have jobs to do. Of course we need to pay the bills and tend to crying babies and mop dirty, sticky floors. But I think it’s all about learning to love Him as we do. It’s about worshipping Him in the car as we drive from A to B, It’s about meditating on His goodness as we walk along the road to the shops. It’s about thanking Him for His provision as we cook and eat dinner. It’s about thanking Him morning by morning that His one single agenda was to come into our crazy, hectic world and to demonstrate His great love, by laying down His life, so that we could enjoy a relationship with Him for the rest of our days.
I have absolutely no idea why the King of glory would want a relationship with someone like me! But He does. He is so worthy of our devotion. Let our prayer be like that of David: “Lord give me an undivided heart” – one that longs for you more than any other thing on earth.