"But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."
The excerpt above is a portion from the story of two sisters -- Mary and Martha. Two completely different sisters, actually. Picture Martha: Type A, a little OCD-ish, clean-freak and to-do-list oriented. (Sounds vaguely familiar.) And then picture Mary: Anti-Type A, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, never-make-a-plan and totally in-the-moment. Now, don't get me wrong, though Mary and Martha are quite different, neither is better or worse than the other. They're just simply different.
As the story in Luke goes, Jesus and the disciples had been traveling to Jerusalem and they came to Mary and Martha's house. Martha -- being Ms. Hospitality that she is -- welcomed them into her home. She quickly went to work a-cookin' and a-cleanin'. All the while, her sister Mary simple sat and visited with Jesus while He taught. I can picture Martha in the kitchen just stewing away, slamming cabinets and such (not that I've done anything like that) until she finally has enough and rushes to Jesus. She says:
"Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me." (Luke 10:40b)
To which Jesus (that guy never misses a beat) replies, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)
Luke doesn't go on to explain what happened from here, but I can imagine that after Martha's reality check, she settles down and lets go of her worries.
Wonder if it's really that easy?
To instantly let go of your worries?
To turn them over to God and let Him work on His time frame?
For me, it's not so easy.
The apostle Paul lays it out simply in Philippians 4:6-7a, where he writes, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understsand."
So, in all actuality, it is rather simple. Set the worries down and pray about everything. And, in my opinion, the most important part comes next. "Tell God what you need..." While taking into account He is the all-knowing all-powerful creator of everything and know exactly what we need, we still need to voice them to Him. Not in a way that gives him a check list, as in, "Okay God, I've got myself in a pickle here, and I need You to do this, this and this to get me out of it." Unfortunately, that's not the way it works. Sadly, more often than not, my prayer is not focusing on needs -- whether mine or someone elses -- it's focused mainly on what I want. Because I have it all figured out in my head God; You just need to get a move on. Right.
I'm pretty sure He deserves much more than my selfish to-do list.
And slowly but surely, I am learning this. Just trusting day-to-day -- no, moment-to-moment -- on an attitude of gratitude.