Wednesday, October 16, 2013

tea time: some thoughts on busy

"But the Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things.  Only one thing is important.  Mary has chosen the better thing and it will never be taken away from her."
-Luke 10: 41-42 (NCV)

image via

This is definitely a stray from my usual type of post, but I have been somewhat bombarded lately with the idea of busyness.  When I was in my 3rd year of college, I had a brief time where I was completely and utterly overwhelmed (who hasn't?).  I was in school, working and various leadership positions on campus.  All things that I absolutely loved.  But at the same time I was preparing to go to Guatemala {my first international trip} with a group from my church.  We were going to stay with a local missionary family in the town of San Pedro and help to run a vacation bible school / soccer camp.  In so many ways, I was thrilled and excited for the opportunity.  But a few weeks before we left, I had a breakdown and insisted that I could not go.  I was just too busy!

But God had other plans for me.  In the forms of reading material/journaling (always an indicator for me) and a dear friend reminding me that this was a trip where he insisting that I would find the relief I so desperately sought.  So, I went.  And I found the most amazing type of rest.  Though we were there to help run a day camp, it happened to be only in the afternoon.  In the mornings and evenings, we had free time to do what we wished.  We went for runs in the morning through town, and I spent many, many hours laying in a hammock; napping and listening to music (on a discman...does that age me?).  It was a wake-up call for me; you can be productive and purposeful, but there should always be a place for rest.  Rest that comes in many, many forms.  It comes in ways that we most need it.  Sleeping, reading, journaling, going for runs or long walks in the woods

It was also at that time that I really learned what the story was about that I quoted above.  Martha, in all of her busyness and preparations (all great things by the way) had forgotten how to take a moment of quietness.  To simply sit and listen.

I have come back to this story and my time in Guatemala, time and time again.  These last couple of years have been particularly overwhelming for me.  An amazing, unforgettable last couple of years, but a tiredness has accompanied it nonetheless.  But over the last few days, I have been reminded of this story again.  It came up while I was reading and journaling a couple days ago, and then again in this article (and here and here).  Our lives are incredibly "busy".  We continue to cram things into every last minute, look up time management articles (that could be just me) and try to figure out how to be more productive.  But sometimes, its about stepping back.  Saying that it is ok to spend an entire morning on the balcony drinking a cup of tea, or going out for a run up Bernal Hill in the early morning.  It is mostly in these moments that we experience what it is like to simply sit at His feet.  

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