I wrote this in my journal this morning:
“I’ve been thinking and blogging about the biblical women, Martha and Mary lately. However, I’ve been thinking of them as charicatures of seperate world views.
Martha embodies the mindset of ‘Git ‘er done!’:
-You are what you do.
-To do list is identity.
-Success defined by financial accomplishment.
-Busyness defines personal worth.
-Life lived exclusively for others to gain acceptance by ‘them.’
-Personal value based on doing.
-Put on a good mask.
-Desperate to make a good impression.
-Look good and life will be good.
-Fill the hours with noise and activity.
-Fight for significance.
-I want to be right.
-Pull your weight.
-Honor based upon accomplishment.
-Provide for youself, family, and chosen friends.
Mary speaks in calm yet strident action, or rather inaction:
-Stop and listen.
-Find the beauty where you are.
-Carve out time for yourself and God.
-Do the important not the urgent.
-Inactivity as activity.
-Prayer as conversation.
-Worship with all your life.
-Silence and solitude.
-Wait for God to work.
-Allow the heart to deepen.
-Accepting pain as a tool of God upon your character.
-Searching for eternity within the realm of time.
-Seeking where the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men intersect.
-Owning our weakness.
-Viewing ourselves, others, and God as more than a commodity.
-Allowing God to speak the final word.
-Finding and living in the healthy reality God has designed for us.
All of us are judged by Martha’s world. So we struggle to live by its judgement. But we always fall short, so we feel condemnation from its value system. The Mary in us, however, fights against Martha’s assessment by pointing towards the eternal reality of Jesus. Martha steams and frets that Mary isn’t coming alongside to do her share of the work. When Mary refuses to acknowledge her Martha-perceived role, an internal struggle of wills and value systems ensues. Finally, Martha approaches Jesus for help. Jesus calms Martha. He helps her turn from hopeless, endless action in the pursuit of validation, towards humble adoration and acceptance of an eternal reality. Martha’s worth isn’t based upon her own abilities or hard work, but upon the stamp of divinity placed upon her essence at the first spark of life given her by her creator. Sitting and conversing with Jesus re-orients her to that fact. Her value… our value… comes from God and cannot be taken from us. So, because of Jesus, the two sisters embrace. The guilt of Martha and the grace of Mary embrace in the arms of Jesus.
Now… I am told…
-That Martha and Mary can embrace in Martha’s world as well as in Mary’s.
-That our pursuit of beauty can also pay the bills.
-That a career can embrace both our passions and a value in the market place.
-That effort can embrace humility and grace.
-That God is concerned with what we do and who we are.
I just don’t know how to get there… I feel my life slipping away with so little accomplished. I watch the battle raging around me and I have a water pistol. Martha and Mary are tantalizingly close to each other, yet seperated by a clear plastic shield.
Please smash the shield, Lord…
After journalling, I got on the bike and rode up to McDonald’s for lunch. After lunch, I rode to the library to check mail, facebook, twitter, and blog. It seems that the most wonderful thoughts and words come to me while I ride. As I rode along, I began to think about my life: Where I wanted it to be and where it is. I began to see how much pride there is invested in my desires for the future and in the disappointment of where I am today. My desires for family and career are certainly not being met where I am right now. I have been looking backward, recently, about what I have learned about life in the past 3 years. Also about what I have learned about God and myself. I am finding just how strongly my values have been placed in Martha’s world. I judge myself and others by Martha’s values. Actually, I might even be scared of Mary’s world. Scared of being out of control of my life, or maybe more to the point, of sharing control of my life with God. God’s intent, I think, is not to become a puppeteer, pulling the strings of our lives, but rather a co-manager, sharing values communicated through a deep love and affection for each other. Therefore, the value of Mary.
-Unrushed time spent at the feet and by the side of Jesus… (I move around… ADHD, you know…)
-Learning to be fully present in Now.
-Listening, seeing, taking in God’s presence.
-Beginning to see God’s valuable possession… me.
-Taking charge of my life, and drawing healthy boundaries.
-Learning to be thankful for what I have been given.
I want to learn. I want Martha and Mary to embrace.
I love hugs….