One of the most important spiritual practices I’ve learned in life is being still before God. Because I’m an active person, it is natural for me to want to “do” stuff. But I’ve learned that cultivating a relationship with God is more about “being” than “doing.”
This story might help illustrate the point. One day Jesus was passing through a village and two sisters, Mary and Martha, welcomed him into their home. Martha became “distracted with much serving” and started to complain to Jesus about her sister who was simply sitting at his feet. Jesus’ response to Martha’s highly anxious complaint was this: “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 from her” (Luke 10:41-42).
We are preparing preview services at All Saints East Dallas. It would be easy to be busy like Martha running around, getting everything ready for Jesus, and become anxious and troubled about many things. But the mission of All Saints is to live in God’s presence and live out his love. To be sure there is much work to do, but what must precede that work is the “good portion" of being still before Jesus, allowing his goodness and love to permeate our being. I find that when I make this “good portion," this posture, my priority, I'm a much better version of myself. I find that the worries, concerns, and anxieties of life don't have the same hold on me. Those anxieties don't go away, but I see them in the light of Christ.
Maybe there is a situation at work or home that is stressing you out to no end. Maybe you feel pushed to your limits and aren’t sure how to handle the situation. You may have no vocabulary for it or you may not be able to compare it to any previous experiences. Try to take a few minutes and be still before God, and, like Mary, choose the good portion. Offer that insurmountable situation to God. And picture Jesus sitting before you. What does he say about that situation? What does he want you to do? Now ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding. Rest in that peace.
You’re in my prayers this week. I hope to see you soon.