Having spent 3 weeks off sick with depression, I’ve had more time than I’d like to think about a few things that have been pushing forward from the edges of my mind.
One of those things is Martha and Mary. I’m definitely a Martha. I spend way more time DOING things than I spend ‘in God’s presence’.
I hate the traditional kind of quiet time – I find it frustrating and I can’t keep my mind on what I’m doing, and then when I don’t manage it I feel guilty that I haven’t. I love to get into the Bible when I’m planning things for assemblies and youth groups and I hate that I don’t have more time to do that properly because work is so busy that a lot of it ends up thrown together at the last minute.
And the more I think about it, and about the fact that God made me the way I am for a reason, the more I don’t understand. Should I stop doing stuff and just sit? Is it really so wrong to be a Martha? And is it possible to be a Martha and still be in God’s presence as much as someone who can sit and rest and think and pray and have that elusive quiet time thing going?
Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli is a book I’ve finally had time to read while I’ve been off and it makes me think so. It ends like this: “Life is complicated. Our schedules are hectic. Following Jesus is not always easy, nor is he easy to hear in the noisiness of our lives. Religion can be hard on our bones. My fervent prayer is that throughout this book you heard the crystal-clear voice of Jesus whispering, ‘I love you.’ May you hear him in your unfinishedness, your incompleteness, your incompetence – in other words, in your particular mess. He’s there, you know.”