Friday, June 28, 2013

One Thing

I sit on the floor of a bookstore and I am overwhelmed as I pour over titles and covers and table of contents and skim chapters and pages of so many books I lose count. Thousands of souls lay bare in front of me. Bare and exposed and powerless to withdrawal their words, authors stare at me from back covers.

To imagine my own book on these shelves one day is terrifying. I picture my words here...available for any stranger to love or to hate.

I feel vulnerable.

This writing is an exposing of one's most inner thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and fears.  It is an uncovering, a confessing, a revealing.

My heart beats fast and I am afraid. Afraid to succeed. Afraid to fail.

A familiar voice tells me I will never be good enough and I can never work hard enough.

And then I remember our reflection verse this week in our current Online Bible Study. I remember Martha and Mary and I remember the one thing.

"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 10:41-42.

As I dig a little deeper I discover what my heart already knows. There are many matters that cause us to be anxious and distracted from the one thing we were created for. There is only one thing from which all other things are birthed that is required of us. It is the better choice and it is good, beneficial, and worthy.

It is to sit at the very feet of Jesus. To surrender. To exalt Him above everything else in our lives, no matter how pressing or important or necessary. When Jesus calls, we must accept His invitation.

As I consider my current project in light of this scripture my thoughts change. This writing is an exposing and all those other things, too, but it is more.

It is worship and it is sacrifice. It is intimate and it is personal but it is not mine.

As I sit at the master's feet, as I chose the one thing that is required and good, then will His purpose pour out of me and then will His glory be revealed in my story and through my words, whether they ever find their way to those bookshelves or not.

As you surrender those things that are causing you anxiety, whether it is work or ministry or tribulation, and find your place in His presence, you will have chosen well.

As you lay down those distractions and cease striving and doing and working to prove yourself or make sure everything is just right, and instead sit at the feet of Jesus, you shall hear His word as Mary did.

Verse 39 says, "And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word."

As Mary settled near Jesus, she heard his word. She positioned herself close enough to understand every word He said and she heard Him.

I want to do everything I can for God. I want to lead Bible studies and write books and teach and encourage others and fulfill my purpose. I want to understand and know and hear Jesus. But it must all start by sitting at His feet. We must find a place near Him and dwell there. His presence is our starting point. It is the place from which everything else we do must begin.

Can you lay down those distractions and surrender your anxieties today? Can you cease for a moment and spend time at the feet of Jesus? I'm praying you can. I'm praying I can. Let us sit together and listen for His words.

Father, your word says as we draw near to you, you draw near to us. We choose to draw near to you today. We long for your presence and desire to hear you speak to us. Help us to lay down whatever might be keeping us from you. Give us courage to trust and strength to obey. Have your way in our lives. Be glorified in all we say and do. We choose the one thing, the better thing. We choose you. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Linking with Melissa Taylor and a community of women for the last week of our current online Bible study, Stressed-Less Living, by Tracie Miles. Click here to find your way there.

Our next study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst, starts July 28th. Want more info? Click here.

2 friends had this to say:

Mei Au said...

Thank you, Shelly, for these words! I have been running away from God for a long time. My husband has always encouraged me to write but I never thought anyone would be interested in what I had to say. Then last year, some friends also suggested I write and ever since then I have been scared to fail. Scared to death to be vulnerable and out there. Scared to death what other people might think. Your words spoke directly to me today and I am encouraged to sit at the feet of Jesus with you.

On a Journey said...

Shelley thank you for your post. I fell in love with the story of Martha and Mary and really looked deep to understand them and seen how my life compared to Martha but the more time I spent in God's word , could be a Mary when I did what was necessary put God first. I have grown through this study and can sense God's direction which before wasn't clear. I feel called to a leader of a Bible Study with women and maybe that is the direction God want me to pursue, so must pray and see if a door opens. Thanks for your encouragement.