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Some days you find yourself in a "back up and punt" situation. You know, where you thought you were running towards the end zone, and instead find yourself heading back to square one to try something else. Case in point: this year I have big goals and dreams. Lots of avenues. Lots of goals and dreams for each of those avenues. I bought this shiny new planner with tons of space for all my overachiever-ness to write all the things I'd be doing.
And then one-week-into-the-new-year happened and my Mary heart wanted to chuck this big ol' Martha-to-do-list right out the window and run screaming toward Jesus. You know that story, right? The one about Mary and Martha?
In Luke 10, verses 38-42, Jesus is hanging out with his friends, Mary and Martha in Martha's home. Now, you know when visitors come, we gotta get stuff done right? Cleaning, cooking, (or if you're me, stuffing everything in a giant tote and hiding it in a closet), prepping for meals... all these chores had to be done to welcome this visitor. So here's Martha, doing all this work, and her lazy sister has not picked up a single finger to help her. Look, she's just hanging out, leaving all the work to Martha!
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.”
He told her, "Listen. Put your to-do-list down. There's plenty of time for that, but right now, time with me is most important."
And that was me, with my planner. I put so many things on it that the very thought of opening it made me cringe. I had every stinking line filled with something, I could barely breathe thinking of everything I HAD to get done in just a single week.
It's easy to get caught up in marking things off of a checklist. It's easy to hold that list of goals up high and focus with gazelle intensity on achieving every one of them. In reality, it's not the completion of our to-do-list that makes us shine. When we let go of all that we think we should be doing and focus on the few things HE wants us to do? That's when we shine.
So let's do that this year instead. Instead of a giant to-do-list, let's let go. Let God. And simply SHINE, just as we are. Don't worry, He'll let you know when He has something for you. And you'll be amazing at it, I just know it.
P.S. If you see me on the street with my planner, don't be alarmed. I still have it, there's just a lot less "list" on that to-do-list. ;-)