Are you a busy helper, leading a busy life? Do you take others before yourself? Since I was little, I have always been a helper.
I am a single mom with one child in college and one in middle school. My days consist of being Mom, working, going to college and church. We are involved in bowling, baseball, Boy Scouts and, yes, lots of chauffeuring.
Many times, I find that I cannot do it all. I make friends laugh when I call myself the "YES woman," because I find myself saying "yes" after I realize later that I overbooked myself.
There is nothing wrong at all with helping others, but I find myself going over the top when my focus should be more on what God wants me to do. When I overdo it, I find myself in a whirlwind of stress and then my productiveness comes to a screeching halt, making me feel very lost, upset and overwhelmed. Then, what good am I?
A story in the Bible tells about Jesus visiting Mary and Martha. Can you image how exciting it would be for Mary and Martha to meet Jesus, who is preaching and healing the sick? He selected their home to stay. What an honor.
Martha does what I would normally do. I would get up, get to work and make a feast for him. Then I'd make him comfortable and exhaust myself to the point where I missed Jesus's whole message.
In this Bible story in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) it says, "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 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!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed -- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"
I confess that I am more a "Martha" when I should be a "Mary." I have decided that I need to slow down and choose to just be more in God's hands, pray more, read the Bible more, do more devotionals and, also, stop and pray before I say "yes." I need to remember to have a good life-balance and allow God to steer me and direct me in the right direction.
I encourage you that if you think you are a "Martha" to just go and sit with "Mary" and let go of things, and take more time with God. (This is not only for women but men too.) Let God lead you out of the whirlwind of life and into the arms of Jesus.
May the Lord be with you all!
-- Janie Jonker is a Lay Speaker at Riverview United Methodist Church in Pasco. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.