Growing up, one of my wife’s favorite board games was Payday. Awhile back, she found a copy of this game and asked the boy and me to play it. Basically, you go through three months of paying bills while trying to get enough income to have something left over at the end of the game. I looked at her and said, “So this is basically all the worst parts of adulthood.” Needless to say, we don’t play that game very often.
Adulthood or “adulting” is hard. It is stressful. There are so many things to do for work, the family, the finances, and the home, that it gets hard to think straight. We use sticky-notes, calendars, and reminders on our phones and computers to keep us on track. However, the stress continues to build.
In the Gospel of Luke, we meet a woman who was stressed out. She was trying to prepare a meal for a special guest, Jesus, and His entourage of disciples. Meanwhile, her sister proved to be no help at all.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are 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.”Luke 10:38-42 English Standard Version
Martha let her stress and anxiety rule her mind. Meanwhile, her sister Mary, found peace at the feet of Jesus. Peter Scazzero in his book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day, makes a good point. He says, “I suspect that if Martha were to sit at the feet of Jesus, she would still be distracted by everything on her mind. Her inner person is touchy, irritable, and anxious” (pg. 31). About Mary, Scazzero writes, “I suspect that if Mary were to help with the many household chores, she would not be worried or upset. Why? Her inner person has slowed down enough to focus on Jesus and to center her life on Him.”
The point here is that we must become mindful of the inner workings of our soul. Busyness and stress are symptoms of an underlying unease in our hearts. The regular practice of the spiritual disciplines forces us to slow down and reconnect with the source of our life and hope, King Jesus. To use the language of the Apostle John, our goal is to abide in Christ on a regular, daily basis so that sitting or moving, we are at peace because of Him.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:4-5 English Standard Version
What is stressing you out the most right now?
What spiritual disciplines are you working into your life at the moment?