Friday, July 18, 2014

Do the One Thing!

I'm sure your reaction to that picture and those words are the same as mine: Yeah, right! After all, we are women. Have we EVER done just one thing? I seriously can't think of a time I've done just one thing at a time. My mind actually is filling up right now with hilarious examples of some of my multi-tasking abilities. To be honest, even on Sunday mornings, when I am supposed to be focused on my one true God and setting everything aside to worship Him, I am making notes on the side of my paper. Yeah...not sermon lists, menus, chore charts, to-do lists of every kind. I have to. I have to jot them down so I can clear my mind to focus on the Truth that is being spoken from the pulpit. I'm not proud of that. I am such a Martha. I so want to be more of a 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 things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

I know so many of you are with me on this...and this isn't the first time you have been reminded of Jesus' loving admonition to Martha.  But as I was reading in my morning devotions this week (while also jotting down my lists, keeping the kids on their tasks, and thinking about what to put in the crock-pot), God showed me a beautiful example of scripture.  I had one of those "Ah ha" moments where the scripture you have read so many times seems to hit you right between the eyes and lovingly reveal a blind spot in your life.  I was reading in Psalms.  I use Professor Horner's Bible Reading program, so I am consistently going through the Psalms and Proverbs.  But, thanks be to God, His Word is living and active!  It is inspired, literal, true...always constant!  But because He is gloriously transforming us and sanctifying us to become more like His blessed Son, it is never the same twice!  As we abide in Him and grow in His Truth, He continues to open our eyes and reveal to us, through His Spirit, just how we are to be more obedient.  And more than that, his amazing and abundant grace!

So...I was reading Psalm 27:4 where David says,

One thing he asked the Lord.  One thing he sought.  His desire was to dwell in the house of the Lord (to abide in Him) all his days, and in the place of dwelling, to gaze upon His beauty and to always seek Him.  The verse just stopped me in my tracks.  The Word of God pierced through my heart and my multi-tasking brain in that moment and hushed the world outside...and inside.  And, I did the same thing you are doing now. "But Lord!  There is so much to be done!  The food won't cook itself, the baby has to be changed, groceries bought, laundry washed-folded-put away!"  And God answered. In the way He always does.  As I sat there telling God how easy it was for David who had NOTHING to do but dwell in the house of the Lord and seek Him, He reminded me of Mary and Martha.  Not that there is not much for us women to do.  And not that in fulfilling the role He has designed us for that we are doing anything wrong.  But He reminded me how important it is to focus on the ONE THING.  Him.  

Then, through the great tool of cross referencing, He led me to Paul.  Guess what?  Paul had a "one thing" too:

So, I began to meditate on it all. (The kids got gloriously quiet and God graciously helped me single task!)  Martha was "anxious and troubled about many things" yet, Jesus told her that one thing was necessary.  The good portion that cannot be taken away from us.  It is important to eat.  Clean clothes are a really good thing.  A tidy home makes a peaceful home.  All those things are good, but only one thing is necessary. Re-read the passage about Mary and Martha.  It wasn't that Martha was doing wrong by serving, but she was "distracted" in "much" serving. 

Mary, David and Paul all knew it. And they all labored tirelessly for God and accomplished much for His glory.  But the One thing came first.  The One thing is where they got the strength and calm assurance to do the rest.  

Are you like me? Do you tend to give in to the tyranny of the urgent?  Have you gotten the priorities out of whack? Think about it...sincerely, transparently with an open heart before the Lord.  What is your one thing?  What consumes you?  What do you desire MOST?  Do you neglect Him and His Word?  And prayer?  Is your answer yes because there is so much to do?  Do those things take precedence because God has required it of you or are you doing it to please others?  Are you unnecessarily anxious and troubled about many things? Would your family benefit more from you seeking God's face first or feeding them breakfast?  Are you like me and need to get up earlier in order to dwell before His throne?  Let's do the One thing.  Paul said he didn't consider himself to have mastered it yet!  But he had a One thing!  To forget what was behind and press on toward the goal (sanctification) to win the prize for which God called Him.  We are women and He has designed us for many unique purposes.  But He has designed all of us for One Thing:  To glorify Him and enjoy Him forever! (Romans 11:36)

I pray my one thing is never anything apart from what He has ordained it to be.  I pray it for you too.
Let us live out our glorious design by serving our families.  But let's press on toward the goal which God has called us to and let's abide in Him, seek His face and gaze upon His beauty.  Take a deep breath.  Do the One Thing!

"Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  Matthew 5:6