Updated: Nov 1, 2020
How odd, that smack-dab in the middle of a word which Webster defines as, "movement or passage from one state to another, an abrupt change in energy level"; in all such non-stillness, we see a command to the polar opposite.
T R A N S I T I O N
This word makes me think of all the running around like a chicken-without-a-head I do. Of course, all things seemingly important and urgent, the Martha-likeness in me doesn't rest until it is done. No matter what fatigue or sharp-tongued grouchiness results from all that doing, I, at least, am DOING! Yet, God calls to the Mary-likeness instead, and quite frankly, that part doesn't always answer. The Martha in me feels uncomfortable when I am motionless. This TO DO list isn't going to do itself! How does that profit anything? This stillness. I have pondered this, almost ashamed. Yet, science tells us that much happens in the way of healing and growth when we are in "still" or "rest" mode.
He pointing out her frantic concern was a call to her to
COME and SIT.
In Luke 10: 38-42 we read their story. Attentiveness to detail shines through in both our Martha and Mary likenesses. Martha, her focus on the refreshments needed, the number of place settings, and wondering just how she could get that earthen floor to shine. And Mary? Why, she probably memorized the lines on Jesus' face, the folds of his tunic, the length of his toenails and the calloused hands of this carpenter. She saw the small changes of His expression as He shared about His visit to the previous town, she noticed when His eyes lit up and his eyebrows lifted and corner of his mouth turned up slightly in a smile. His words, she hung on every one of them, leaning forward in anticipation of what He would say next. Was Jesus aware of Martha's scurrying about in the background? Of course He was. He pointing out her frantic concern was a call to her to come and sit. I often wonder what Martha's response was to Jesus' highlight of her obvious lack of calm? Did she throw the dishtowel over her shoulder and plop herself begrudgingly next to her sister? Or maybe, she shot Mary one of those "stink eyes" only sisters can deliver from across the room. Perhaps she backed out of the room to check on the bread in the oven, using it as a excuse to NOT SIT just then. I mean, He didn't even back her up when she asked for His help in getting Mary on board with the preparations. Many of us, like Martha, can find legitimate reasons to not sit. The kids, the husband, the dog, the meals, the laundry, the bills, and the business. All require tending to, but still, not the better part.
...there is peace in the panic and calm in the chaos.
In the midst of all the transition that takes place from one stage of our lives to the next, He invites us "Come". Come and sit at His feet, glean from the stillness. To do this isn't counted as time wasted or lost as a person continually on the move might think. He reminds us that there is peace in the panic and calm in the chaos, especially during transitional seasons when it feels like all things are about to hit the proverbial fan.
Do you sit? How's easily are you able to push things to the side and be still? Is your spirit willing but your flesh weak?
I'll admit I'm not great at it, but I'm learning more and more that my connection to the Father and His Holy Spirit runs parallel to my being able to experience His peace amidst the movements, both big and small, in my life. Zach Neese and Gateway Worship say it well.
The more I seek you The more I find you The more I find you
The more I love you
I wanna sit at your feet Drink from the cup in your hand Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming
- Zach Neese, Gateway Worship
Mary was on to something. Captivated by the love-filled pitch, tone and inflection of the voice of Her Savior and enamored by His skillful story-telling, Mary had found the better part. Ignoring, yet painfully aware of, her sister's disapproval, Mary made a command decision to stay planted at the feet of Jesus. How about you? Would you choose the better part today?
Wherever you are in your transitory pilgrimage, choose to sit.
He is Jehovah Shammah, the God who is there. Wherever our THERE is, that's where He is. He is there in it with us. He is there as we SIT and meet with Him when the dizziness of the everyday swirls and when the fear for the transitions ahead threaten us towards paralysis. We sit with God and God sits with us. Oh, what a great comfort!