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Hard working protectionist?
Are you a Martha? Too busy to enjoy the Christmas Season? If you aren’t familiar with the story that begins in Luke 10:38 of the Bible you will have no clue what I’m talking about. This story resonated with me so much that when I first read it, it was as if someone had slapped me upside the head. I spent the better part of life fretting over the details and missing out on what God had for me. I can only imagine what my life would have been like if I had spent more time at Jesus’ feet. Before I go on, let me share the story with you. This is from my Living Bible:
As Jesus and His disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister Mary sat on the floor listening to Jesus as He talked. But Martha was the jittery type and was worried over the details of the big dinner that she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Sir doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all of the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and I won’t take it away from her.”
I used to be a Martha. If I wasn’t sleeping or intoxicated I was wound up like a three-dollar watch. I would suck the fun out of my own birthday party by running around making sure that everyone had enough to eat and drink and that they were enjoying the music. I couldn’t relax until I’d picked up every empty plate, glass or beer bottle. People would sit down next to me to chat and I’d be off and running again before we spent two minutes talking.
I’ve had an annual Christmas party at Johnny’s for years and before I had my “come-to-Jesus” meeting in 2002 I never stopped working long enough to enjoy it. I had wonderful people offer to help clean up so that I could enjoy the party but I’d always say, “It’s okay, I’ve got this. I’m just going to wash this pan. I’ll be out in a minute.” That one pan would turn into those dishes, followed by filling that crockpot or chafing dish. A minute would turn into an hour and I missed out on so many meaningful conversations and lots of laughs too. Thankfully, I am getting better at designating work and excepting help.
The great thing about discovering “the only one thing worth being concerned about,” which is a relationship with Christ, is that He helps you to put things into perspective. With the guidance of His Holy Spirit you figure out what the important things in life are. Love and relationship take precedence over perfection. People move to the top of your list and things become a distant second. Family moves in front of business and career, and sharing what you have becomes a heck of lot more important than striving to get more. And with the right perspective life gets really good.
When you concentrate on all of your own problems, you get overwhelmed and miss lots of opportunities to help others. Getting yourself off of your mind is freeing. No matter what you are going through, there is someone else out there who is in a more difficult situation and is much worse off than you.
When I think about the petty things that I used to fret about and let steal my joy I am embarrassed now. I had more joy-suckers in my life than anyone ought to think about having. The great news is, when I put Christ first in my life again, He moved the joy-suckers out. It was as if the Holy Spirit came in with a big broom and swept away worry, strife and trifles. That doesn’t mean that those things don’t rear their ugly heads on occasion. As my mentor Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”
The holiday season brings out the Martha in many of us. We want our party’s to be perfect, with all of the right decorations, plates and cutlery. Our homes need to be spotless before visitors are welcome. We need to purchase just the right gifts and wrap them with just the right paper and bows and ribbons, and before we know it the merry has been sucked right out of Christmas. Don’t let that happen to you. Enjoy the season by embracing the One that it’s all about. Celebrate Jesus and the rest will fall into place.
If you would like to experience more peace and joy, if you would like to know more about the only one true thing worth being concerned about, I’d like to offer my assistance. Whether you have a relationship with Christ and are struggling to put Him first or you don’t know Him and would like to know more about Him, I’m here to help. My life is a living testimony of what God can do. I love sharing my story to help others. If it’s spiritual growth that you are looking for or someone to help you understand and deal with codependency, I’m only an email away.
Sign up for a free twenty-minute consultation and lets talk about whether or not I can be of help. For a download my free PDF, Five Things You Can Do To Experience More Joy Right Now become a subscriber to my website. As a subscriber I’ll share my latest posts with you and you’ll be the first to hear about blog posts and free offers. If you’d like to read the rest of my story you can also purchase my memoir Born Again in a Biker Bar in paperback or e-book form.
Have a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas. And remember, there is only one thing to be concerned about.
God bless, Charisse