She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. Luke 10:39 NASB
Busyness and the holidays… why do they go hand in hand…
After everyone had finished eating and the table was cleared, I couldn’t help but notice the oh-so familiar look that my parents now wore – pure exhaustion! Every year they host our family’s thanksgiving dinner, and even though this year there was no obvious difference than all the previous years… yet to me somehow it was different, drastically different.
What changed? And why wasn’t it obvious to everyone else…
As I thought through the course of events, the cleaning… the cooking… the decorating… the meal… the conversations between family members… nothing stood out. Yet still something was different. Something had changed. I continued searching the rooms, looking for answers, and as I did I began to notice the ones who weren’t there. In that moment I was reminded of the famous account that occurred between Martha, Mary and Jesus.
We are told in Luke 10 that Mary visited with their guest while Martha was extremely busy… busy cooking and cleaning, preparing a dinner party that would be fit for a king. Seriously, the King of kings was in attendance! Everything had to be perfect!
(insert light bulb here)
That’s it! That’s what had changed – my perspectives had changed. My perspective on the holidays and how I defined perfection… on what was necessary versus unnecessary… what I was willing to spend my time doing and what I could let go of…
A few years ago my daddy, who was both healthy and able, became deathly ill. What started out as a viral infection, quickly changed into something far more serious, which left me contemplating how I would get through the rest of my life without my daddy as well as questioning how I had spent my time with him.
In the end it doesn’t matter if you’ve prepared the most delicious meal, served it up on the finest china and surrounded it with the prettiest decorations if your loved ones aren’t there to share it with you. Regardless of the reason for the separation, our efforts become meaningless if they aren’t shared with those who give meaning to our lives.
Planning and preparing a meal fit for a king isn’t easy work, and creating an environment that reflects the importance of the event is exhausting. But might I encourage us all this holiday season, before the craziness of Christmas begins, before anything else gets added to or checked off the to-do list, to pause and approach the throne of God and prayerfully ask Him to plant a desire within our hearts to become intentional with our time.
Gracious Heavenly Father… thank You! Thank You for the time I was able to spend with my family yesterday. Thank You for the faces that surrounded our table. Thank You for the gift of life that You so willingly bestowed upon my daddy. I can’t picture this life without him, and Lord, I’m so grateful I haven’t had too yet.
I pray that as the Christmas season rapidly approaches that You will open our eyes to the things that separate us from the ones we love. There are so many things that we pack into our schedules because we feel they are a must. But God, You are One with infinite wisdom, and You have the ability to see into our future. Let us take our cues from You. Help us to clear our schedules and let go of those things that truly are unnecessary, so that we might have time to enjoy visiting with those who matter most. This is the only chance we will ever have this moment in time. Oh Lord, help us to spend it wisely! I ask these things in Jesus' Name, Amen.