Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

What I Learned In Church

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

People are different, right? Fair statement? Accurate statement? Of course, people are different. How would it be if everyone was like you? Or like me? Pretty boring. We all have different strengths. But, can we come together and bring our strengths together in one big and amazing strength?

Take for instance personality tests. You know the kind. Boggles the mind, yes? There are way too many of these types of tests that are basically introspective. The Enneagram test or Enneagram of Personality is simply a model of the human psyche. Meaning there are nine interconnected personality types. If you do any sort of research about all this, you’ll soon discover It’s really a hot mess because there are so many different schools of thought among Enneagram teachers that their ideas aren’t always in agreement. Nevertheless, it’s been widely promoted in business management and in spirituality contexts via seminars or conferences. Its overall goal is to help you know more about yourself…if you dare.

Basically, we can qualify three types of people. The head people, the heart people, and the hands people. I’m sure I know lots of people from each of these categories. The head people are all in their head. Every decision, every action comes from their head. And they’re guided by that. They overthink most things. Then there’s the heart people. These are the ones who run on emotion 24/7. Again, every decision, every action emotes through their heart. They tend to make not so good decisions. Finally, the hands people. These are the doers. The servers. They base their decisions on what they can do to fix it. How they can serve to make it better.

So, which type person are you? Have you arrived at that point where you now understand who you are? Or, are you a little of all these types of people?

This story in Luke is about two sisters who are as different as night and day. I can’t really relate to a sibling relationship being an only child. But I’ve watched my girls relate to one another over the years so I think I’ve got some idea of how sisters get along. Although we don’t know a terribly lot about Mary and Martha, we do know Lazarus was their brother. Jesus loved this family. Martha became the one who went to Jesus and told him of Lazarus’ death. And, if you remember, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

As soon as Jesus arrived at the home of Mary and Martha, Martha immediately went into work mode. I just might be a Martha! Do you have a Martha in your life? Mary, on the other hand, sat at the feet of Jesus amongst all the men listening to what Jesus had to say. Martha suddenly went into this anger filled tailwind. She totally freaked out and went to Jesus complaining about Mary. She was like, “Mary is just sitting here and I’m doing all the work! Speak to her!” Jesus was like, “Martha, Martha, Martha, you’re so worried about all the wrong things. Mary has chosen the best thing.”

Are you like Martha? Would you admit it if you were? Are you distracted by many tasks? Martha got so busy serving, she had no time for Jesus. The result of this type of action causes one to become overwhelmed. Jesus tells us that we should be more like Mary. But, let’s face it, without the Marthas, very little would get accomplished. Sometimes, though, we really do need to sit and listen.

So many distractions cause us to miss the important things. Human interaction for one. We simply can’t focus if we’re double eyed.

In my book Anyone Seen My Rose-colored Glasses? I write about a time I call I Still Remember When We Used to Dance in the Den. A time in my life when my kids were little. All in school. My husband and I both worked. The days were full to say the least. We learned to grab moments whenever possible. Somehow during all the chaos of the work week, on Friday nights when the kids were all tucked in bed and sleeping, my husband and I would go downstairs to the den, turn the stereo on ever so softly, and there we would carve out a moment for ourselves and slow dance in the den.

slow dance in the den

Martha is in that moment when she’s so focused on doing, she isn’t present. How many times do you sit in a restaurant and watch people having dinner together and all the while they’re scrolling through their cell phones. I find it so annoying. Not even looking at one another or talking. Never present.

never present

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Probably another reason Martha became so upset with Mary was that she found her act of sitting amongst the men offensive. But it wasn’t offensive to Jesus. He knew Mary was exactly where she needed to be.

Sarah Crosby became the first woman to hold the title of Methodist preacher. John Wesley appointed her in 1761 to that post. Sadly, when Wesley died the council reversed that decision to let women preach. In 1888, the conference was taken aback by women saying they would continue to preach. Finally, in 1956, women could be ordained. Now here we are, hopefully realizing that we can’t really do life with no Marthas or Marys. Who are you?

What do you think would happen if we really had sabbaths? Because I know when I’m sitting in church, those cell phones are still being used to text or even scroll through. It begs the question—Do you have time to just be…silent?

If you’re familiar with the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, you know it’s a non-fiction book that speaks to the value of simplifying one’s workload by focusing on the one most important task in any specific project. It helps you to focus on your purpose and your “North Star.” What’s the one thing you need to do today? And, by doing it, everything else you need to do will be easier.

Here’s my challenge: first thing in the morning, take sixty (60) seconds spending time with God. I’m thinking it just might make you more focused throughout the day. Can you do it for sixty (60) days? Just askin’…………

            And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!

reginamatthews

reginamatthews

Regina Stone Matthews is the author of the children's chapter books "Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson-When I Dream;" "Dealing with Margaret: Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson-When I Dream" and the double award-winning book "I'm a Detective! Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson-When I Dream."