Thursday, October 24, 2013

Relationship Versus Duty

For the past week I have felt incredibly loved. 
We counted and around 18 people came to help us move into our new house and help get us settled.

If you would have asked me a couple years ago how I would have moved into a new house, this wouldn’t have been the way. Most of the time I like to do things on my own, if you haven’t already grasped that from my posts. I want to get things put in their right places by myself and feel accomplished by my own efforts. 

What I’m realizing is that I can only bless myself so much. I know that sounds quite crazy but it’s true. God designed community for a reason. I have to continue to preach this truth to myself all the time: people are good for you!

This past weekend showed me how I can figuratively and physically open the door to my house and let people in without being hurt. People aren’t always out to get me or out to make my life harder. When we asked for help, our friends and family came in abundance!

I know I can be overwhelmed easily by crowds and lots of people asking me questions, but God showed me a wonderful story from his Word before everyone came over on Saturday to help.

You may know this story like the back of your hand or remember it from Sunday School growing up, but this story really hit me in a different way on Saturday. It’s the story of Martha and Mary:

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many thing, but one thins is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” 
(Luke 10: 38-42)

Honestly, the first time I heard this verse I thought Jesus was crazy. I didn’t truly understand what was wrong with Martha wanting Mary to help her until God showed me in a different light what this situation compares to in my life.

I tend to be a Martha. I want to prepare things and get things done before I have fun. When I’m hosting a dinner, I go and clean the plates after everyone is done eating before I’ll come back and engage in conversation.

Jesus wasn’t saying in this piece of Scripture that preparations are bad and that we should always be more interested in the present. What he was saying was, “We simply need to do everything we can to keep the ‘pre’ in preparation,” as Beth Moore would state it. Instead of preparing while guests are there, we need to prepare in advance and then while the guests arrive, be more worried about relationship than duties. 

I’m so glad that God pointed this out to me before my friends and family came over on Saturday. I was able to prepare as much as I could before they got there, but then just let go and worry more about the people who were coming to help than what I actually needed to get done. 

In the end I didn’t do as much as I would have hoped; but the people who came surpassed what I would have hoped them getting done! I also was able to be present and have some conversations I wasn’t expecting to have. It was quality time I needed with some close loved ones!

I thank you, Lord, for the way you showed me this story right when I needed it most. Thank you for convicting us to stop preparing while relationships are present, and to just let go. I pray that you would continue to help us keep the “pre” in preparation and have a good balance of Mary and Martha in our lives. We love you! 


Where in your own life is the Lord asking you to pour into relationships, as you trust Him with your time and tasks?
[This post first appeared on Radical Everyday Living, October 14, 2013.]

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