‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things…..’ (Lk 10:41)
It will come as no surprise to anyone that this year 2020 is more than half gone already. Most of us are bored with hearing someone say ‘where is the time going? It can’t be the middle of July already!’ – even in this strange, ‘unprecedented’ time. I guess most of us feel this way, much of the time. And perhaps the reason is that we keep ourselves so busy. My own lifestyle tends to be made up of rushing from one thing to the next as fast as possible: head down, eyes focused, let’s ‘get it done’! If it takes me 25 minutes to walk a certain route today, then I’m definitely going to do it in 24 minutes tomorrow; come on, get on with it, you can do this! Stop and smell the roses, Muriel? What for? That’s a bit of a waste of time, isn’t it? After all, there are still about 95 boxes to pack……
The Welsh poet W H Davies wrote a poem called ‘Leisure’. Perhaps you’ve heard the opening lines: What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. I don’t know if Davies was a man of faith, but there are certainly echoes of Scripture in his words. Martha, in that well-known story, rushes around trying to ‘do’ everything she thinks is essential for a visit from the Lord Jesus. And it’s not that Jesus doesn’t appreciate her efforts. He just wants her to see that there is something more important.
We can so easily fall into the Martha trap; must just get this done, then I can relax. Just one more job to organise; oh, and maybe I should make that phone call … and send that Email …. Oh and I must just answer this call from my sister/mother/cousin/friend .… and sweep that floor ….
There was a time in the Exodus from Egypt when the people were in absolute panic; the Egyptian army was on their heels, and Moses didn’t seem to have a plan. Hey, come on Moses! Did you bring us out of Egypt so we could die here in the desert? Some plan, Moses! What are you thinking? For goodness’ sake, do something! (Ex 14:11-12 Chad patent translation). And what does Moses actually reply? ‘Stand still, and watch the Lord rescue you today’ (Ex 14:13 NLT). Which He does.
Stand still. Stop. Wait. Smell the roses. There’s a time for everything under heaven (Eccl 3:1)
The Psalmist agrees: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning.
Whatever your pressures today, can I let the prophet Isaiah have the last word: the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. (Is 30:18) Grace, compassion, justice. Wait for the Lord.