Life can get complicated quick. Between work, family, serving in our churches and communities, and all the activities we find to fill our time, it is so easy to get overwhelmed. Then add trying to not just “make ends meet” but at least wave at each other; upkeep on our homes; cars and lifestyles – it just adds up. I can hear Randy Owen, lead singer of Alabama, in my ear – “we are in a hurry to get things done, we rush and rush until life is no fun.”
Is that true for you? In the pursuit of your piece of the pie and the American dream, are you running from one thing to the other, trying to keep pace with life and all of the demands that you are facing? Has doing it all cost you joy?
These are some of the things I have been trying to figure out in my own heart and life. I know we must work; we have family responsibilities; we have a desire to serve and we all want to make sure we are all doing what is expected and needed. Nothing wrong with any of these things. The answer in finding joy, peace, and calm is not to quit everything and do nothing. That is not life.
But could it be that some of the answer does include ways to simplify our lives? Shouldn’t we make sure that those things we add are actually a part of our life, and not just a part but a priority?
It goes beyond cleaning out clutter from our closets and basements and adding some storage boxes. It gets down to decluttering our souls and adding time with the words of Jesus after being at His feet.
Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 has this very conversation with a woman by the name of Martha. He cared for her greatly, as a matter of fact, and loved spending time with her family and being in her home. Martha got so worked up by having Jesus in her home that she had become distracted, worried, and overwhelmed. All the while her sister sat at Jesus’ feet. Martha got so upset she told Jesus what to do.
Jesus in a loving way, said to her – “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” I believe the even greater truth He wanted to press in was that amidst it all, we better find time to be at the feet of Jesus.
One thing is needed. One thing is vital. If that one thing is there, the others will take care of themselves. But if that one thing is not there – panic, stress, worry, anger, and frustration are soon to follow.
Jesus would tell us that keeping it simple not only means getting rid of the things that distract and cause clutter, but it’s also adding things that draw us closer and bring us peace.
Remember the words of Jesus. Replace Martha’s name with your own and hear Him say, one thing is needed and do not neglect that good part that will not be taken away from you. And as much as possible, step out of the race and take time to kneel at the feet of Jesus.
Michael Wilkes serves as pastor of Center Baptist Church in Helen. This post originally appeared at his blog.