Bound By The Planner

Have you ever found yourself with too many things on your plate? I know I have. My senior year of college I was on two management staffs, interning at a local television station, and planning a wedding. I was beyond stressed—so much so that my eye twitched for the entire year. Now, anytime I have that “twitching” issue it’s an indicator of too much stress and too many yeses. One of my weaknesses is saying yes when I should be saying no, and that’s especially true when someone thinks I’m qualified for the job or considers me an expert in a particular area. And I’ve found myself in stressful situation after stressful situation all because of some insecurities and pride.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been learning to stand firm and confidently say no, but every once in a while that old prideful, insecure nature rears its ugly head and I find that I’ve, yet again, bitten off more than I could chew and then I’m stuck. Stuck with tons of deadlines and more commitments than a mom of a toddler should ever have. As I write this, I’m reminded about the story of Mary and Martha. These two woman had a unique and rare opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his teachings. Mary took complete advantage of that rare moment but Martha was distracted (Luke 10:38). She was, as I like to call it, bound by the planner. She had her list of things to do and she was determined to accomplish those things even if it meant missing out on one of the most precious and sacred opportunities ever recorded in biblical history.

When I think of that story, I realize how I’m not too much different from Martha. She may have been busy mending, cooking, and cleaning, but in that moment she had too much on her plate. What she really needed was to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his endless wisdom but she couldn’t pull herself away from her tasks. Lately, I’ve been bound to this little gray and gold book (my planner), it has every detail of my every day and I must meet every deadline before the end of each week. But how important are these things if I’m burned out, stressed out, and missing opportunities to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him speak? Jesus told Martha, “you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42). I don’t want to miss what the Lord has to say to me because I’m “too busy.”  I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and take breaks to spend time with Jesus because he’s the one who restores my soul (Psalm 23). He’s the one who gives me the strength to do all the things that I do (Philippians 4:13). He’s the one who gives me rest when I’m weary (Matthew 11:28). And when I don’t take that time, I’m depleted, crazy, and overwhelmed and I believe Jesus desires us to have balance.

As I write this—even though it is on my list of things to accomplish— I’m not bound by my planner…. this is my opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and allow him to pour into me—reminding me of how imperative it is for me to spend time with him. Honestly, I had other things that I planned to be doing as I write this, but Jesus wanted this time. His desire for me, for all of us, is to spend more time in his presence than we might make time for. Even though we can’t see Jesus physically like Mary and Martha could, he’s ever-present waiting for us to sit at his feet and just listen. Will we become un-busy enough to hear?