Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dog Tired

If it seems like I'm on a kick lately about too much busyness and a lack of restfulness in the church... I am!

Sort of, anyway. It's sort of a "kick," but mostly it's been an ongoing thing.

I've been very concerned about the busyness that goes on in churches for quite some time. But lately I seem to be seeing a lot of evidence all at once, and it's been on my heart more than usual. The "kick" seems like it was in its early stages a month ago when I wrote my latest article for my church's monthly publication. It was about busy Martha and restful Mary. Since then, I've come across blogs and I've communicated with others in person or on the phone or via emails in which people have shared about their struggle with busyness and their lack of restfulness in "the church." Through one particular blog post, I found another entire blog that is actually called "One Thing Is Needed," a title that is based upon the story of Mary and Martha. The blogger's profile shares this: "After getting distracted by many things, I'm on a journey back to the one thing that matters."

Our dog, Puppa, gets very, very excited when someone arrives home or when we take him for a walk. He whimpers and whines and yelps in all the anticipation. It's not necessarily "fun" to take him on walks. He tries to go so fast, and he pulls so hard that he chokes himself on his collar, where the leash is attached! He coughs and gags a lot, but yet he won't let up. Someone from a distance might think we were abusing him! What's worse, he is somewhat out of shape. He's supposed to be perhaps 18 to 20 lbs, but he's more like 23 to 25 lbs. Our entire walk this morning was only SIX BLOCKS, but because of his eagerness and because of being out of shape, he was so very worn out when we got back to the house!

It reminds me of how I got burned out as a Christian and of how I see many others doing the same. We get saved "by grace, apart from works," but we seem to jump right in to all kinds of church activity, thinking somehow this means we're performing our proper Christian duties. We "choke and gag" as we try to stay ahead of the game, but we don't let up because we're afraid we'll miss out on something. In the beginning, we're very motivated to get out and do all these things. But in the end, we get so worn out and tired that those things we may or may not have enjoyed doing, look very, very unappealing to us.

So if it seems I'm on a kick, so be it. :) But if anyone gets anything out of it, it's just to remember that one thing is needed. Martha chose being busy for Jesus, but Mary chose the one thing that was needed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him.

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