Just three weeks ago, when we experienced the first false cold snap of our Texas fall, I got out our fall decorations. I was excited to put up the yellow and orange leaves, the “give thanks” banners, scarecrows and fall candles throughout the house. It brings a sense of promise that the heat is coming to an end, the holidays are just around the corner, girls can bring out those sweaters and boots, guys can wear sleeves and not feel miserable and we embark on the season of gratefulness.
I wish this time of year seemed so simple for everyone, however I also deem this a season of stress. High school seniors are focusing on college applications, high schools students are scrambling for homecoming dates or attempting to make the least painful set of plans with their friends. Holidays can bring about strife between couples who travel to visit family and sometimes the holidays remind us of our lost loved ones.
I often find myself “doing” during this season and forgetting to take moments for myself and my Savior. To truly be a Mary in Luke 10:38-42 takes discipline and effort during what many deem the business time of year. Martha does a beautiful job illustrating my holiday tendency and dare I say I’m not alone?
Luke 10 is a great passage and if you not familiar with it I encourage you to visit it. Martha and Mary are sisters who welcomed Jesus into their home. Martha is busy in the kitchen preparing a meal for Jesus and Mary is sitting at His feet, hanging on every word. Not to rag on Martha but she is described as “distracted with much serving” ultimately growing in resentment towards her sister saying “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” (v. 40).
I love Jesus’s response “But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha you are more anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (v. 41).
Of course it’s great to host, bake, gather with family and in this instance if the Savior of humanity walked into my home, would I not want to nourish and serve Him too? However, Martha finds herself busy in the moment Christ is in her home. Mary has the right idea, sitting at the Savior’s feet, soaking up His words, knowledge and presence. At the end of Jesus’s stay, who reaped the most of His visit?
This holiday season will arrive and we will turn the calendar over to 2016, will it be a season of anxiousness and troubles? Or, can we look back and feel it was a season of thanksgiving, soaking up time with our loved ones, celebrating a blessing of a year that wasn’t promised to us, relishing in our bountiful blessings and the arrival of our Great Savior? Once we return to work or school can we say it was a rich season or will we return back tired stating it was a short break? I’m encouraged to go into this fall and holiday season with purpose. To make time to sit and enjoy, to stop and make a cup of tea and have a quality conversation with a family member I only have the privilege of seeing once a year. To go for a walk and appreciate the change in the leaves and to sit at the feet of my Savior and draw in His rich lessons just as Mary illustrated. It’s not going to be easy, and some thing may not get done to my ideal standard, but my quality of life and undeniable need for self-care trumps any green bean casserole or complex homemade dessert.
Rush Creek Counseling Center
written by Katie Bowman, MEd, LPC-Intern