My husband's been getting up at 5:30 in the morning again...to pray. That's about when I head back to bed after another groggy feeding that usually results in one spit-up, one blow-out, and one half-hour of trying to get back to sleep. Lest you think this comes naturally to my sweet husband, you are mistaken. Every morning he struggles with the same fog that rolls through my head, and yet, when I suggest that he won't make it if he doesn't get more sleep, this is his reply: "Babe, I won't make it if I don't pray...the Lord will provide." This is a busy season of life in our household. Between a full house of children, a church plant, a school start-up, and various other relationships and commitments, we keep a steady pace around here. There is a joy in working hard and being productive...that is, until the joy is not there. And as our flesh would have it, you usually don't realize how joyful you are not until about half-past exhaustion and a bad attitude. I can so be a Martha. A Martha Stewart, yes, but mostly a -sister of Mary who got mad because she wasn't helping when Jesus came over for supper- Martha. I'd like to think our ministering family always chooses the "one thing that is needful" and sits at the Lord's feet as Mary did; but alas, we can fall prey to our sinfulness just the same.
So many things in a day's time curtail a gracious attitude of joy in me: whining, spilled milk, fighting over toys, disciplining, stacks of papers, backed-up laundry, forgotten appointments, being late, disobedience at naptime, more disciplining, miscommunicated expectations with the hubby, outside voices inside the car, never-ending dishes, and disappointment in my own sinfulness--just to name a few. (Please tell me some of you find this familiar...) And while these sometimes serve as a foil to an undivided heart before the Lord, the honest truth is, I sometimes fail to yield that which is costly (my time, my productivity, my control) to Him who provides that which is already paid for.
Nothing is more crippling to joy than "making it" apart from sitting at His feet. My motivation can't be guilt (though Troy does nothing but encourage), self-righteousness, legalism, or formula. My motivation to sit still at His feet can only be that insatiable desire to be in my Lord's presence and to bask in His glory...as Mary knew. Newborn schedules, young children, homeschooling, ministry, household chores...they all have their place of importance...below Christ.
And now to discern, to seek timing, to respond, and to persevere as I pursue that which is the most necessary.
but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."