Elina, my PNG friend who has helped me with my house for almost 5 years, says, “Olgeta taim mi kam insait, taim i sa kamap bos bilong mi.” It means, “when I come inside (meaning the center where I live) time becomes my boss.” It’s so interesting that in our Western mindset, time is our boss— you have to hurry to get the needed things done in the amount of time you have.
In PNG culture, you do what is needed next, without that fear of running out of time. But that’s always my fear, especially now on a Saturday, that I’ll run out of time to get all my weekend tasks finished before the work week starts. How do we keep time from being our boss, and instead, allow the Lord to guide our days?
The message of our Central Area Conference was about rest, and the idea that we’re not meant to work to earn rest, but instead, rest so that we can work. God created man on the 6th day and then on the 7th day was a day of rest, so man’s first day of existence was a day of rest! Especially in ministry, we need to rest in the Lord’s presence before we try to serve, so He can give us what we need to do His work.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“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.”Luke 10: 38-42
What does it look like to be like Mary and choose the one thing that is needed instead of like Martha who was so busy getting things done that she couldn’t take time to be with Jesus?
Martha was distracted.
Guilty. I am often distracted from the one thing that is needed, so focused on my to do list. When I run a ladies’ retreat, I create space for other ladies to take the time that they need to be with Jesus. I cook and clean-up and arrange the schedule and guide the reflection. No distractions. It is beautiful to see how the Lord meets with them in that time. How they hear from Him as they take time set apart to be with Him. It’s a joy for me to be a part of that and hear them share their stories of what God is teaching them.
I need to be more intentional about creating that space in my own life, that time to be still before the Lord and focus on the only thing that is needed.