Philippians 3:13b “But one thing I do:”
My adult children will tell you; over commitment is the key to my success in stress. I like to think of myself as “overly-compassionate.” They think of me as simply insane. Marriage, family, home management, full-time career, ministry, music, long distance biking, community service, caring for an elderly mother, Bible study, and now – 365 Daily Devotions; my plate is overflowing! Sadly, I’m a jack-of-all trades yet master of NONE. Having spread myself so thin, many of these roles have suffered greatly because I have little time, energy or resources to devote to them. Most especially, I have neglected my elderly mother which fills me with tormenting grief and guilt.
So, I have resolved to simplifying my life. But this is a task all to itself! It is certainly much tougher than I imagined. Each thing I’m involved in is important in some way either to me or to someone else. How do I choose what to focus on and what to discard?
“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.” Luke 10:41–42
Honestly; I think if I heard this after throwing my own little pity party like Martha did, I would be a tiny bit insulted! (Okay, maybe not a tiny bit) In the moment, Martha really felt she had chosen the better part. In the moment I said “yes” to all of these commitments I thought the same. But when faced with the simple truth, “one thing is necessary,” the question remains; what is the one thing He means to point out? For the rich young ruler in Mark 10:21; it was his unwillingness to leave all his worldly possessions to follow Jesus. For Paul in Philippians 3:13, it was leaving his past behind to march forward in Christ. For Martha and me, it is to cease from striving and simply sit at HIS feet. In each instance the single most important thing is setting the heart and mind on One: Jesus.
Now, my decision is clear. It will be a humbling experience to face each person I now have to decline assistance to. It will be hard to watch friends and family participate in events I do not have time for. It will be even harder to confess my sinful need to be involved in everything just because I want to be involved (and not for any other purpose than just that). But it will be liberating as I allow Him to be the center of every “yes” decision, plan and commitment as well as the “no” responses when it is not His will. What joy I will experience when I embrace only the roles He has intended for me unhindered by too many distractions, too many commitments, as I focus fully upon Him.
Perhaps today you find yourself pondering the same question: “What is the “one thing” the Lord has searched my heart and found lacking? What are the “other things” I need to remove from my life which will free me to fully commit all to Him?” Truly trust God and allow Him to show you the answer. When He does, He will give you the strength and courage to respond.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.