Day 7: Choosing Better
“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 (NIV)
“I’m swamped!” “I’m slammed!” “I’m drowning in email!”
Does this sound like you? It definitely sounds like me, and it is something I feel like I hear all the time. In the book Essentialism, Greg McKeown shares, “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular…Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.” How many priorities do you have in your life? In a given day? It seems that at times there is almost a sense of pride in being too busy. We all have seasons (some feel longer than others!) of being overwhelmed by our priorities.
I have never felt this more than I do as a working mom. I used to think I could do it all (as long as I didn’t sleep!), but now it is painfully obvious that I cannot. As Andy Stanley says, “You can’t give 100% everywhere; you have to choose.” I can’t be a 100% mom and 100% wife and 100% employee and 100% housekeeper (HA!) etc. There are not enough hours in the day and, with a 2 year old, I’m already sacrificing sleep!
The feeling that everything is important right now is becoming even more of a cultural norm in our digital age.
And I know I’m not the only one that feels this pressure. Whether you have children or not, this need to do it all and feeling that everything is important right now is becoming even more of a cultural norm in our digital age. However, when we try to do it all, we only make minor progress in twenty different directions, and no one, ourselves included, is satisfied. This is why we have to have the discipline to slow down and decide what is really important and make the hard choice to say no to the things that only feel important.
I think the key word in this is “choice.” I often feel like Martha—I have to do it all. We do have a choice, and we need to prioritize our days before someone else or something else does first. The only way to really have this wisdom and space from the daily demands that can so quickly suck us in is to find a quiet space in each day and pray so that we can get the wisdom to prioritize as we should.
The only way to really have space from the daily demands is to find a quiet space in each day and pray.
I realize that most people reading this already know this is the right thing to do, but too often I start the day with email or worried about my schedule and the day seems to get away. This is because I am “worried and upset about many things,” and I forget that “few things are needed” and I must choose wisely what is better. Many people reading this already do this well, and I pray that you will continue to have this discipline. For those that face the same challenges I do, I hope we can all pray for each other and our community to be more disciplined to find time to let prayer and God’s word guide each day to help us choose what is better.
Written by Tiffany Wood, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management