Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Martha, Martha, you fret about many things . . .

I have been away from Exultet for a long time, overcome by the combination of much work, a lack of what anyone would construe to be deep spiritual insights, some writer's block, and that dragging embarrassment that comes over me when I've put something off for a while. You know the drill -- "I should have done something about this a while ago, but now I'll have to either do something particularly sparkling to make up for it or else come up with a compelling reason why I haven't done it up until now." The end result is that nothing happens.

Well, I ask you to forget all that in order to help me forget all that. It's a pattern that has been with me for a long time and doesn't serve me well. And that's enough "true confessions" for today.

The last while has been spent doing massive work on my home in preparation for it to be sold. We're about to come out of the tunnel and into the sunshine, which yields a feeling of great relief and no little sense of accomplishment. It takes a handy male to run this place well, and it has been many years since my husband was in the position to manage that effectively. But thanks to the resources of God and the graceful generosity of many, the impossible has happened.

Now I'm praying for a quick sale and the identification of a good new home.

* * * * * * * *

I have been a Martha for these last couple of months -- distracted with many things. I don't like being a Martha. Unlike her, I cannot seem to integrate my daily work with devotion and service to Jesus. It seems like an either/or -- I can either maintain a fast pace like a churning steamboat, or I can follow a slower, more flexible rhythm that allows me to be more aware of God and more ready to come into His presence in the moment. That second pace is more countercultural and uncomfortable for me, especially in this age that tilts toward speed, efficiency and measurable accomplishment.

I can't shake the feeling that I ought to change, that my employment of the Martha/Mary analogy is an overspiritual self-justifying excuse for laziness and self-indulgence. But, though I prefer to share struggles after I've learned the lesson and come to the end of the story, I put this out here for your perusal and thought.

It's nice to be back and see you all again. I've missed you. Thanks, Therese, for your ongoing inspiration.


Therese Z said...

Thank the Lord you're back...I'm talking about coffeepots!

I was thinking about the either/or of my conversation with God just yesterday. Some writers make "an ongoing walk and talk with God" sound so simple. But they don't seem to take into consideration the hassles and panics and boredoms and sins of life, where we stop and start and stop.

Julie D. said...

Glad to see you back. I was just starting to wonder if you'd had pneumonia or some other long lasting illness ...



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