I’ll be the first to admit that I have never been one to get excited about the New Year. In my mind, its a day like any other, and I’ve never been drawn to the idea of a “starting fresh”. A new semester, on the other hand, carries a different appeal to me. Maybe its the change of pace or the change in my schedule that makes it feel so different, but I cherish the potential a new semester presents me with. Because of this, I have decided in lieu of a New Years resolution, I will instead make a New Semester Resolution.
This semester, aside from the standard decision to make more time for running, sleeping, and studying, I have adopted this motto:
Be more of a Mary, and less of a Martha.
The story of Martha and Mary is pretty well known, so I’m sure you know what I’m getting at. This semester, I want to spend less time worrying about cleaning my house. I know that probably sounds a little silly to most, but I’m actually quite the neat freak, so much so that I will refuse to have guests in my house unless I know that it is spotless. I’ll take out hours on a Saturday afternoon to scrub from top to bottom, and I find it difficult to sleep knowing there are dishes in the sink (I’m not kidding on that one. I’m totally psycho). But by being so uptight about the condition of my home, how much time am I wasting that could be used for something profitable? What if I were half as worried about the condition of my heart as I am the condition of my home?
This semester, I will be more intentional with my girls. If that means having them over for coffee and letting the laundry sit a little longer, so be it. At the end of my life, I want to meet the Lord and have more to say for myself than “But Father, you could eat off my kitchen floors!”
I was sharing this thought with my roommate, Carolyn, on Tuesday night, asking her to hold me accountable. This same evening, I went to an event called “Night of Worship” at church with some of my sisters. As if the Lord were trying to offer his encouragement, the devotional offered that night was on this very topic. However, the pastor did not teach on the passage of scripture in which Jesus visits Mary and Martha’s home in Luke 10. Rather, he took us to the account of the death of Lazarus.
On the surface, I’m sure this passage seems wholly irrelevant to my resolution. However, this account gives an interesting perspective on the hearts of these two women who were precious to the heart of Jesus.
Scripture tells us that when Jesus knew that Lazarus had died, he went to Judea to be with his friend. As he made his way into the city, he was met by Martha, who came to voice her frustrations to him. In John 11:21, Martha meets the Lord on the streets of Bethany, exclaiming “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Christ answers her concerns with a lesson, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” (v. 25).
Martha goes back to her home, this time sending Mary to meet Jesus. When she arrives, she falls on her face and cries “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” (v. 32). Sound familiar? Its the very same cry Martha met Jesus with. Yet when Mary says this, it brings quite a different response. Scripture says that the heart of Jesus was deeply moved, so much so that he went to the tomb of his friend Lazarus and wept himself, before calling the dead man out of the tomb and raising him to life.
What’s the difference here? Once again, its a heart issue. Martha brought her concerns to the Lord out of anger, frustration, and accusation, but Mary approached Christ humbly broken, and his spirit was deeply moved.
Martha got a theology lesson. Mary got a resurrection.
This semester, I’m desperate for a resurrection. I’m overloaded and tired, and my soul needs revival. I need a reminder that the Lord called me here, to this city at this moment in time, for a spectacular purpose. His spectacular purpose.
This semester, I will strive to give more, complain less, and take every situation to the Lord with humility. I will take the time to listen, love, and point others toward Jesus.
Oh, and regular trips to the gym couldn’t hurt either:)