This incident took place over 15 years ago, and yet, I remember it clearly. In the buzz of daily life, it is easy to get caught up in the carelessness of the checklists, and forget the intentionality of abiding in Him.
I remember how frantic I was once at or late deadline and how frustrated I was at all the problems we were having in getting the program together. We’d all kinds of equipment failure throughout the day and I was going to have to drive the program across town to get it uploaded to the satellite. It was already 7 pm and the babysitter was calling me every 10 minutes.
Then, I got a call from a lady with a gentle Creole accent. She told me, “I felt led to call you and pray with you.” I SO didn’t want to talk to this lady, wasn’t interested in being prayed over, and really just wanted to leave to get this program fed and pick my 2-year old up. I was impatient when I responded to her. Rather than take insult from what was probably a curt rebuff, she just said , “Wow. You REALLY need the peace of our heavenly Father on your heart right now.”
And…she burst out in song. Now I’m wondering why I’m on the phone with this crazy lady, and then she prayed through the worship song and then rolled right into praying for me, for my distress, for the things I thought I needed to do…and prayed that I would be still and listen, that my heart would be quiet long enough to remember the awe of God, and that the joy would come back to my heart as we produced MNN…
The more she prayed, the more convicted I grew and I realized I was caught up in the ‘do’ and not the ‘be’…and THEN she pulled out the big guns: the story of Mary and Martha.
Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
She ended our conversation with, “Sometimes, it’s ok to be Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus. Stuff will still be there to do. It will eventually get done. But the lasting investment is remembering to sit and BE at the feet of Jesus.”
It was a much needed gentle rebuke along with a little encouragement from an unknown sister in Christ that I still remember to this day…thousands of productions later. What we do is important…but not at the risk of forgetting to abide in Christ.