Monday, October 19, 2015

for the lovers of doing

Once upon a time in Bible college, my classmates and I had an animated debate on the importance of meditative practices (such as solitude, prayer, reflection, silence) in the believer's life. I only remember that discussion because the general consensus seemed to be that the importance of meditative practices was dependent upon the individual, not something all Christians ought to practice. And that conclusion didn't sit well with me.

After half a year of wrestling with why that conclusion didn't rest well with me, I finally stumbled across Luke 10:38-42 (a passage I'd conveniently forgotten til now). Jesus visits Martha and Mary. Martha runs around doing stuff and Mary sits at Jesus' feet listening to him. Mary asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her. And Jesus tells Martha that only one thing is necessary, that which Mary is doing, which is simply being with him.

So that resolved my internal struggle: I can worship God through doing, but I must worship God through being. Meditative practices need to be part of every Christian's daily routine, regardless of temperament. The results-oriented person I am winces a bit at this. Being with someone, just spending time with someone (especially someone you can't see--definitely makes it more challenging) sounds so...unproductive.

Checking off boxes on to-do lists. Crossing items off a list. Sealing envelopes. Clicking "send." I love getting things done. I itch to get things done. There's a resounding sense of peace and assurance that comes with it. Productivity. It is beautiful. But I've been spending my mornings in quiet meditative activities, and I can't deny the outcome: being with Jesus makes a difference.

Reflecting, reading the Word, journaling, writing out passages of Scripture. All are time-consuming activities. But all help to set the pace for my day, which in turn sets the pace for my family's day. If I can remember that Jesus doesn't think less of me regardless of what I feed my kids; that he knows I wasn't going to finish the laundry anyway; that he ses me on social media while my kids cry in the background--and that he loves me all the same, then I might enjoy my messy life more. I might love myself more, my husband more, my kids more. And life might just be that much more rich because of his no-conditions love for me.

So here's to slow, slow, sloooooowing myself down to spend some quality time with Jesus. To reminding myself of what matters most. So that I can better soak in every passing moment of this once-in-a-lifetime life.