to-do list

My Christmas Challenge

As I sit among the lists for my lists to accomplish everything needed before Christmas and the blessed arrival of family, I am realizing that my “Christ alone” goal for 2016 has become “Jesus + everything-I-need-to-get-done.” I am once again exposed, and repenting that something has crept in that is trying to steal Jesus’ place of priority.

I have long known that I suffer from the “Martha” syndrome (so busy with tasks to serve that partaking of the sweetness of Jesus can take a backseat). I completely understand her complaint to Jesus that there was an endless amount of work, and Mary was not helping. To Martha, everything would fall apart if people didn’t have places to sit, and something to eat and drink (that reflected badly upon her). Incredulously, Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better thing – to sit at His feet, enjoy His Presence, and learn from Him. I really want to do that…but, who is going to take care of the rest of this stuff?

God’s perfect timing for all things is truly amazing. It was demonstrated in having Jesus born when no one was expecting it, and witnessed only by stable animals and angels. There was no press, social media, or technology to get the word out, yet it happened through unlikely people and impossible events. When Jesus ministered as an adult, He was never in a hurry, but was always in the right place at the right time. If God has so proven His trustworthiness to do these HUGE things when they needed to be done, why would I not trust Him to order my time and activities?? Do I honestly believe He would leave something out?

The sad truth is that I am afraid His list is different from mine. Mine includes all those things I have learned that demonstrate hospitality…and omitting something reflects poorly on me. So, if His list is truly different, is His goal to make me look inept or lazy? Or, could He be wanting me to choose to spend time with Him, in preference to my concept of being the perfect hostess? Ironically, it is not what I do, but how well I love others that makes me the perfect hostess; and that kind of love only comes from time in His Presence. So, it appears everything on my to-do lists must become optional, except for time with Him.

Christmas naturally focuses us on the incredible love of God to change the world – and our lives, in particular – by meeting us right where we are. This Martha-ite has determined to leave her kitchen and housework to seek the adorable, approachable Baby. Putting Him first is my gift to Him…I’m asking that His gift to me is to make me like Mary.