Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It Doesn´t Come Easily

Being able to make Mary’s choice does not come easily. To someone like me…a control-freak…to put it nicely…surrendering my time, my thoughts, my obligations, my work, my desires, my wants, my plans is a great challenge.

To tell you the truth, I look at Mary and I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I admire her and I wish I could be more like her. On the other hand, I am just as frustrated as Martha was with her. I think she is too care-fee; therefore, there must be something seriously wrong with her… Sometimes I think that there should be a happy medium. I have often thought that perfection falls in the middle, and that I should strive to be sort of like a Mary - Martha morph/blend.

In re-reading the passage, though, I realize that’s not what Jesus is suggesting at all. He is not saying: “Martha, you should be a bit more like Mary.” He is plainly saying that Mary’s got it right and that no amount of whining would merit anyone forcing her to get in the kitchen. He is pointing at Mary as the model of how we should be…not just a bit more like…but how we should be like, period!

Jesus is telling us of our need to surrender our will, our time, our all and seek Him first. And it is hard. It does not happen overnight.

Scripture tells us we need to be transformed, made new. But it also tells us that Jesus is the One who makes all things new, including us. I believe that means we cannot do it alone. Only the transforming power of Christ can do it in us. However, I also believe that it takes a willingness of heart from our part. We need to be willing to change…to be transformed…even if it means to have our world turned up-side-down.

I have a hard time with all of this because I am a very rigid person. I don’t really bend in the wind like a palm tree. I am more like one of those trees that when the storm comes they either break or get uprooted. My default is to fret, fear and panic. As a child of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I need to become aware of all those idiosyncrasies in my personality that make me lose sight of the Only Thing that is Needed while in the middle of a troubling circumstance. And while being aware, I need to pray that the Holy Spirit guides me into learning strategies that will help me change those default settings.

It’s like when I open my Internet browser in my laptop, as soon as I click on the Internet icon that connects me to the World Wide Web, I see a screen that has my default choices. How did those choices get in there? How did they become my default? By habit. Those are the sites that I habitually use every day, so the Internet already knows that and it puts them right there so as soon as I’m online, I have them in front of me. I don’t even have to think…just click.

It is the same way with my emotions. They become my default because of the force of habit. That’s what I always do or feel. Most people have different default emotions depending on the circumstance. I sort of don’t. I have the same default emotions for all circumstances: fret, fear and panic.

How would I change my default screen in my Internet Browser? By changing my choices…by changing my habits. I’m going to extrapolate that thought into my default feelings and say that it works the same way in this area too.

It doesn’t happen overnight, though. In order to create a habit, we have to practice it many times in a row over a significant amount of time. That’s exactly what I need to do if I am ever to change my default emotions: practice a new habit for a prolong period of time.

Why am I talking about all these? Because making the choice of seeking Christ’s presence first should be my default anytime that I am faced with the need to choose between my will and God’s will. I’m talking about this because I need to pray that I learn to be like Mary: Let the world wait while I sit at the feet of My Lord!

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