“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.” Luke 10:38-42 NIV, emphasis mine.
I arrived at a relative’s house, happy for the holidays. The cheery decorations, scrumptious food, and visits with family we see far too infrequently, created a magical moment.
Entering the bedroom my husband and I would occupy, I noticed the fresh vacuum marks on the carpet. I set down a suitcase and I noticed a light fragrance, lilac, permeating the room with its welcome scent. Then my eyes drifted to where I always set my Bible and notebook while visiting: dust.
My gaze glanced to all surfaces, and yes, each had its own little supply of dust.
I chose to accept the dust as a welcome gift. If my family didn’t feel the need for perfection with company coming, then neither should I.
How liberating to excitedly anticipate a visit without the stress of pulling together a ‘perfectly’ organized home!
I do still try to make my home welcoming to company. But with five of us, it takes constant attention. And I’m just not willing to give it constant attention day in and day out all year round.
I could, but I’d miss character building conversations with my girls. I could constantly clean, but then the only communication I’d have with Christ might be frazzled, incomplete sentences. (Not that Jesus minds incomplete sentences, but I do!) And, when I’m in perpetual motion, I tend to not hear Him, so my communication becomes a monotonous monologue.
But a surprise blessing of forgoing the ‘perfectly kept house?’ The blessing it is to guests who drop by unannounced. Not only our time together is spent with a more focused mind and heart engaged in the moment, not wondering if she sees this mess or that, but just maybe the state of my home alleviates a friends’ stress toward the striving of perfection. I’m content to invite her in, parading her through the chaos.
No, my house has never been a health hazard, but worrying about it could have been.
People, encouraging people, and spending precious moments with others is such a better use of my time most days.
And I’m certain it’s what Jesus would do, and what He wants for me.
How often do I allow repetitive tasks to distract me from divine appointments? Either with God in prayer and learning, or with others?
Have I permitted my pride to decide how I spend my moments, instead of God?
Consider how your imperfections might bless others.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the reminder that you do not judge by what man sees, but that you judge by the heart. I pray my heart is solely focused on you and what you have for me to do today. I pray I do not add unnecessary burdens to myself and obstacles to my relationship with you. Thank you for your constant love, no matter the state of my surroundings. May I learn to bless others as you bless me. Amen.
Thank you for reading! Please return by Monday, November 10, for the next post.