There’s quite a bit of newness to our family’s life right now. We are settling in to a new ministry, church, and home. The last three weeks have flown by! I am currently praying through the different areas I could get involved in. The temptation is to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes my way, but I learned a while ago that I am not meant to serve in every area. There are places God has called me to and gifted me for. Simply put, I had to discover that busyness is not a spiritual gift. Getting involved in your church and community is wonderful and necessary as we live out our faith, but over committing ourselves only leaves us burned out and jaded.
We can confuse Martha with Mary in our spiritual walk. Do you remember the story of Jesus’ visit to the two sister’s home (Luke 10:38-42)? Martha hurried around frantically serving. She was concerned with getting all the boxes checked off her list. The details mattered. Jesus was in her home! She needed these things to be accomplished. She did so out of the right thought, but her service was misguided. When she rebukes her sister, Mary, for sitting and learning at Jesus’ feet, Christ tells her that Mary has chosen what is good. Martha had replaced busyness with serving Jesus, and we can too.
Often, we are overbooked in our personal lives. We have commitments to our families, jobs, and homes. We run to practices, stay late after work, and run all the required errands. Then we come to church and sign-up for every committee, Bible study, and workshop possible. We feel drained in our lives and hope this “service” will renew us. We subconsciously think we are giving something to Jesus.
Don’t misunderstand, working in the church is important. But our heart behind it matters all the more. Mary knew that gleaning from Christ mattered more than hospitality. (Though, again, serving others matters.) Martha was serving before sitting with Jesus. We often do the same. We run ahead, and try to do when we haven’t taken time to be in God’s presence. We are trying to pour from an empty cup. Psalm 23:5c says, “My cup overflows.” Our cup cannot overflow to others if we haven’t taken the time to fill it. We have to set aside time from our hectic lives to read His Word, pray, and simply sit in His presence. When have been at the feet of Jesus in our personal lives, then, and only then, can we truly serve our church and community. People don’t need us running around agitated because we are exhausted doing everything. They need to see us following Jesus in the thing He has called us to; refreshed from spending time with Him.
I know how tempting it is to fill our calendars with all the possibilities, but may I caution you to prayerfully seek how God would have you serve Him through communing with the Holy Spirit. It is okay to say “no” to even good things so that you can say “yes” to the best thing that God has prepared for you. We serve Him, our families, church, and community best when we give from an abundant heart.
This week, consider what God is asking of you. Do you know? Have you spent time with Him? Don’t run ahead to “serve”. Sit and see where He is calling, and pour from a full cup. Be blessed!