Have you ever been so wrapped up in preparing for something that you forgot to appreciate it when it actually happened? A birthday party, a wedding, the next phase in your life- maybe something as simple as dinner? As a self-recognized control freak I get the urge for things to be “just-so.” In fact as a culture I think we have glorified the process of making things “just-so.” We create Pinterest boards for birthday parties for our dogs and before we go out on dates we research the menu, pick our outfits, and Facebook stalk our dates so we know exactly what to expect. But all of this hyper-organization and preparedness has me thinking- in our desire to plan everything in our life to a T have we lost the ability to live in the moment? Not in a cliche 90’s romcom kind of way but in a take a deep breath and appreciate exactly where you are kind of way?
If you grew up in the church (or maybe even if you didn’t) you have probably heard of a pair of sisters- Mary and Martha. In the book of Luke, chapter 10 Jesus stops in a small town called Bethany, and goes to the home of Mary and Martha for dinner. In a very relatable moment Martha frantically tries to throw together a grand dinner party. She didn’t have time to think of a theme, origami table decorations, or pick up fresh flowers for the centerpiece, but dangit she was going to clean up the dining room and make the best meal out of what she has! If you knew that the man coming over for dinner was Jesus Christ Himself surely you would do the same right? Here is where things get interesting though, while Martha is scurrying around googling “last minute dinner ideas” and “how to fold a paper napkin” her sister Mary is sitting in the living room with Jesus having a conversation.
Naturally, this kind of pisses Martha off. How does her sister not see how important this dinner is? This man is literally the son of God and they didn’t have six months to plan every last detail so the least she could do is help out now. There will plenty of time for meaningful conversation at the dinner table. Martha even leans on Jesus to get her sister to help “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” But Jesus doesn’t see it from Martha’s point of view, He knows that an honest moment spent conversing with Him is worth so much more than a well planned party-no matter how well-intentioned. “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.”
There are moments in life that we can’t and shouldn’t over-plan, moments where we need to leave space for Jesus to show up and have a conversation. This might be harder than it sounds, it’s easy to fill up every moment of every day with work, cooking, cleaning, social media, planning our outfits, planning our next steps. My challenge to you all, and to myself, is to practice a different kind of self-care. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having a plan, again I love a good plan, but maybe this particular plan is not have a plan-for a minute, five minutes, an hour? And to ask Jesus to talk to you about His plan, I bet you will feel even more accomplished after that five minutes than after five minutes of finding new ways to organize your scarves on Pinterest, or the 10 habits all successful people have in common, or even which Disney Princess you are based off of your current hair style. So will you do it? Will you schedule time to be unscheduled? Plan time to have no plan for that time?