Prioritize Relationship

~ Choose the Good Portion – Week 11~

making the best use of the time…understand what the will of the Lord is.

~ Ephesians 5:16-17 ~

Tucked in the pages of my Bible is a little piece of torn notebook paper.  This little piece of paper has two jobs.  One is to hold my current reading spot.  But mostly it’s a penned reminder of God whispered words to me…

“Say yes to relationship.”

I heard those four words on repeat in my head for the 31 days that make up the month of December.  And I knew that was what God wanted of me in 2019.  Which is perfect because I love relationship so very much!  Time with my favorites is my favorite!

But if it’s my favorite, then why were those words accompanied by a feeling of intimidation?

Hello, you can call me Martha.  No that’s not my real name, but I am the epitome of this woman we find in Luke chapter ten.  Like Martha, I have spent many countless moments in anxiety and worry, distracted by what I think needs to be completed.  Because of this I have missed out on countless precious moments in relationship with my favorite people.

God’s whisper to “Say yes to relationship” was intimidating because it meant God was going to start some hard work in me.  He was going to make me let go of my Martha-isms, my ideas of how my home and life should look and be.  And I wasn’t so sure I was ready for that.  I wanted to “say yes to relationship”, but it seemed impossible because I also REALLY like things to be clean, tidy, and just right.

My fellow Marthas out there will understand.  At least I hope you will.  Marthas are wired to notice the things that need to be done.  And when we’re in the midst of undone, untidy, and unorganized, it completely consumes us.  No matter how badly we want to spend time with our favorite people we cannot quiet the voice of our “to do list”.

This means even when I’m doing my very favorite things, with my very favorite people, I am never fully able to “say yes to relationship”.  If I choose to ignore the dishes on the counter and play a game with my family instead, the dishes are calling for me; distracting me from fully entering into relationship and the present moment with my family.

As God started pointing me to this story of “Do-er Martha” and “Sitting Mary” this past fall, I thought He was just trying to teach me that my stress is because I’m doing too much and worried about things that I cannot control.  I had never seen the element of relationship in this story.  I thought it was about doing less and making time for Jesus.

Yes, that is part of what it is about.  It’s also about just being with the people you love.  Jesus knew His time here on earth was short and He wanted to spend that time in relationship with His people.

Friends, we have just a moment on earth, and the time that we have to spend it with our loved ones is but a blink of an eye. In this story of Martha and Mary, Jesus is beckoning us to prioritize what is necessary.

I’ve said before that I believe it to be no coincidence that the greatest commandment is love and that the necessary thing, the good portion, is relationship.  Hearts are the most important thing to God.  He created us because He loves us and wants relationship with us.  He also wants us to value others’ hearts and be in relationship with them.

The thought of saying “yes to relationship” may not intimidate you as it did me.  You may be more like Mary and being fully in moments comes more naturally to you.  But I can bet doing relationship and loving like Christ does isn’t always easy for you.  For every human being, relationship and love take some work.  And we must learn to prioritize hearts instead of things and doing.   We must learn to prioritize hearts instead of ourselves and our desires.

I’m learning to start my day with a prayer that God will help me set aside my preconceived ideas as I allow Him to write the script for my day.  That He will help me to remember to get out of His way so He can establish my steps.  And as I fall into step beside Him, that He will speak words of wisdom to me and teach my heart to value what He values.

No, it isn’t always easy.  Yes, it takes work.  Yes, it’s sometimes hard to set aside what I think needs to be done.  Yes, I still fail and choose things and doing over relationship.  But those words God whispered to me in December are becoming louder than the voice of “to do” and I am learning to say…

YES to RELATIONSHIP!

Pray this with me…

Oh, Heavenly Father, we thank you so very much for how you value our hearts and relationship with us.  Help us not to be distracted by what we think we need to do.  God, our plans are so futile, but your ways are with great purpose and great love.  Teach us how to prioritize our days and our steps so that we spend them walking in alignment with you and your will.  May our hearts value what you value.  May the voice that beckons us to what’s necessary, relationship and love, be louder than the voice that beckons us to do our will.

* Take time to read these scriptures today:

– Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

– Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

– Matthew 22:37-39 – “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:39 – 42 – But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve along?  Tell her than to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

– Ephesians 5:15 – 17 – Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

* Think About It:

Take time to write in your journal what you value most.    Be honest with yourself.  If it’s people, if it’s work, if it’s money; whatever your priorities are, write them down.  Pray over this list and ask God to show you what He wants you to value and prioritize according to His will.

 

Blessings to you as you Choose the Good Portion today!

 

All biblical references are ESV unless otherwise noted.