We sure do have it backwards!

Part of the message I preached at our church last Sunday was about making worship a priority in our personal lives in 2016. I encouraged all of us to interrupt our busyness to focus on the Lord more regularly. I talked about how that would impact our corporate worship on Sunday mornings, but more importantly how it would impact our relationship with the Lord and our ability to carry the miracles He wants to birth through us. And I admitted that personal worship is an area in which I’ve become lax. Ouch!

So all week the Holy Spirit has been whispering to me “let’s do what you preached about on Sunday – let’s set aside some time and worship.” “How about today – can we do it today?” It’s been a positive urging, not a nag. It’s the Lord saying “come away with me, my love” (Song of Solomon 2:13b, paraphrased).

Finally tonight I did just that. As I sat with my head back and eyes closed, listening to a song about how much God loves me, sometimes singing along, sometimes not…my mind began to say “you know, you could be sorting that big stack of mail while you listen to this.” And then “You’re really wasting time just sitting here – you can listen to the music while you wash the dishes in the sink.”

And then it hit me – we sure do have it backwards! Our society has it backwards. Society values doing above all things. We have been programmed to think that doing something is better than sitting with the Lord. Even in our time with the Lord, we tend to think we need to be doing something – reading, studying or actively praying for needs.

When God’s highest priority is for us to worship and to listen. Jesus told Martha when she was so worried about getting everything done that Mary, who was sitting at his feet, had chosen the “better part” (Luke 10:42, NIV). For years, I regularly prayed, “Lord, show me the better part.” And over time, I became a worshiper. I learned how to choose the better part… But somehow that got lost in the busyness of last year.

There will always be tasks to do. There will always be things to keep us busy. There will always be things we’re leaving undone. That was as true for Mary as it is for us. But Mary chose to sit at the feet of the Lord. The Holman Christian Standard Bible says that “Mary has made the right choice.”

Wow did I have a challenging year last year. It seems like I was always trying to decide what the “right choice” was in situations for which I had no knowledge, training or wisdom. The right choice in each of those situations would have been to step away from them and sit at the feet of Jesus. (I’m afraid I didn’t make that choice as often as I should have. But you know what? God still loves me with a passionate love! I am loved by God with an everlasting love – even when I don’t make the best choice all the time – and so are you!)

We must go against our culture and training to choose the better part – to choose to relax into worship instead of sorting the mail or doing the dishes. Instead of spending more time at work or helping to plan the next great evangelism outreach. All those things are “needful” but as Jesus told Martha, we are “fussing far too much and getting [ourselves] worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it – it’s the main course and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41b-42, The Message Bible)

One of my goals for 2016 is to stop fussing so much, to stop angsting over decisions – to make them and trust that the Lord’s got it – whatever it is. Choosing the “better part,” the only thing that is “essential” is what will make that goal achievable. So my bigger goal is to worship me. Want to join me?

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