I have tried to fall asleep, but there is too much noise in my head. My body is tired and my eyes are heavy, but my mind is in a gear that is not shifting down.
There’s a hundred voices shouting, yelling and murmuring in my head. I have tried to shut them down—one by one like you would the lights in the house as it goes to sleep.
I keep remembering that Jesus said we are not to worry, we are not to be anxious and we are not to fear. I keep remembering there is no one to please, but Him. So, I keep attempting to shut down the voices until there is only one.
One voice in the midst of the noise.
Each voice, each agitated worry, each careful concern and each niggling anxiety I bag and lay at his feet.
Bag after bag. I watch my little self carry the bags and dump them at his feet.
His voice is different. There is no manipulation. No guilt. No coercion. No wheeling. No demanding. His voice pierces through and speaks my name:
Just as he did with Martha long ago.
I am doing it again. Acting like Martha. Wondering what I am supposed to be doing rather than what I am supposed to be being.
And the doing causes the noise in my head.
You see, thinking I have to be doing something to please Him is not the way of the Kingdom. Doing sets up demands that keep you awake at night. Doing creates the clamoring of voices.
Jesus told Martha Mary had chosen the better way. She chose being over doing. There were a hundred chores Mary could have been doing. There were dishes to clean and clothes to wash. There was a to-do list and there was a litany of preparations, but Jesus was present and Mary chose to sit down at his feet and simply be. She chose to sit down and bask in his love.
I think it was hard for Martha to sit down. Hard for her to stop and push the urgency of demands aside for a little while. She wanted to serve Jesus. Her heart was right, but during that visit she missed what was valuable—time with Jesus. Instead she allowed the noise to drown out the sweetness of his voice.
Martha, I understand. Right now I resonate with your behavior. For months I have been asking Jesus what I need to be doing to serve him. What do I need to be doing to use my gifts for him? I have been in the kitchen, in the midst of chaos and noise, trying to prepare a meal to feed Him.
Martha, you and I have the audacity to think we can feed Jesus. How funny is that? Jesus just wanted and wants to feed us. He prepared a quiet place for us to eat the feast he prepared. And he just simply wanted and wants us to sit down and eat with him.
He asked me to turn off the noise.
He asked me to just come and be with him.
Years ago I often sat where Mary did. I understood the concept of being. In the course of attempting to please and impress people I started doing more and being less.
The past two nights the noise has been deafening, but his voice has pierced the roar.
Tonight I heard him.
“Tamera, Tamera. I love you. I have a crazy love for you. And this love is not wrapped up in what you do well and what you do poorly. My love is not fed by your abilities and talents. My love is not fueled by your performance. My love is not motivated by the accolades you receive or the awards you obtain or the ones you do not. My love is not fashioned or tempered by what others think of you. My love is not shaped by the tasks you fail to accomplish. I love you because that is who I Am.
So, lay down this way of doing. You cannot impress me. You can please me. You can discover my good and perfect will. You can make me smile; you can even make me laugh. These things are not accomplished by what you do. You forget this so easily. You have been deceived. You have been told you are not using your gifts and you have felt resentment and frustration—but I have allowed your field to lay fallow for a season. I want your soil rich—ready for the seed of my love. Ready to produce a harvest sixty-fold. But first, come and sit at my feet and simply be. Choose the better way."