Friday, February 1, 2019


Photo credit: John W. Martin
Are you a mover and a shaker? Is your calendar filled with To-Do lists, meetings, appointments, agendas—all the pillars of the proverbial “rat race”?  Well, I’m here to tell you from personal experience that busyness is the root of all stress. Being a hard worker, hustling and grinding for legitimate gain is not a sin. It’s how businesses, relationships, and families are built. But what happens when we spend too much time doing “stuff” instead of sitting before the Lord being quiet and listening for direction from Him? We get stressed out, resentful, and become murmurers and complainers. As a result, the joy that we should possess is blocked by our own pursuit of stuff that’s way less important than hearing from God. Duh...
Remember Martha in Scripture? She and her sister Mary were hosting Jesus, of all people! In my holy imagination, I see a house filled with guests. I picture other folk showing up just to be in the company of the Lord. We can infer from Scripture that Martha was a little bit frazzled. Girlfriend was probably running around cooking, cleaning, preparing, hosting, etc... while her sister, Mary, was sitting down chillin’ listening to Jesus. Can you imagine having company, trying to make sure everything is perfect and the one person who should be helping you is sitting down chit-chatting? Most of us would have a fit! And you know what? Martha did have a fit, Honey! (And don’t go rollin’ your eyes at Martha, she was human just like us). Martha got so miffed that she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40, NIV).
Scripture paints a picture of a patient, loving Father trying to talk some sense into Martha. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). Can’t you just see the lip poke from Martha? Her standing there looking confused, after just assuming Jesus was going to come to her rescue and tell Mary to help her, and he doesn’t. Instead, He gives her exactly what she needs. He does the same thing for us.
The Lord tells Martha that the most important thing she needs to do at that moment is sitting before Him. You see, Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing His Word. She had to have been quiet to hear Jesus. We can’t hear from God when we are all over the place with our own little agendas in the forefront of our minds. Quietness allows us to hear from God. We must learn to remove all distractions (even cleaning your home or attending to your family can be a distraction). Pick a time and place that will allow you to sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary. 
Once, I was complaining to my pastor about everything I had going on, telling him how burned out and tired I was from my day job, my night job, my kingdom commitments and everything else I had going on in my life. He listened intently and asked, “Did you pray about that? Because when God calls us to do something, He gives us the strength to do it.” All I could hear ringing in my ears was: Dun. Dun. Dun! No. I hadn’t prayed about teaching secular school in the evenings in addition to my ministry work and day job, or rather I didn’t wait for an answer! I was doing the Martha. I was doing “stuff.”  As a result, I was stressed out! Since then, I’ve learned the power of “no.” I try to pray and listen before I take on something new, knowing that the most important thing is to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear the Word, while I look out the window at the beauty of God’s creations, being quiet.
Get closer in study:
Matthew 6:6
Psalm 1:2
Psalm 42: 1-2