Choosing the Better Thing (Rebelling Against Exhaustion, Part 3)
"You can't tell me what to do!"
I'm sure we all said it at some point. It's the refrain of every child who wants to exert some measure of control over their life. Something in them rebels against the idea of taking direction from Mom, Dad, or any other authority figure. And what teenager doesn't long for the day when all restraint is gone and we can be totally independent?
Only it never happens.
It may look like we're acting free of compulsion, that we're calling all our own shots, but unfortunately, we are still taking direction from the subtle hints of our culture. We want to fit in, we want to be accepted by our peers. We want to seem to be on the right track, and in order to do that, we faithfully walk the path that is set before us by a world that measures our worth by our performance.
Once we have subconsciously accepted this worldview (and it's hard not to - it gets played out before us our whole lives) we make our choices based on how well they contribute to keeping us on the path. Will this group of friends help me? Will this career move advance me? Does this purchase contribute to the right image? Am I doing enough?
All because we've let our values be defined by the world around us.
But there is another set of values, a better one. In Luke chapter 10:38-42, we read the story of Jesus at the house of Mary and Martha. I'll be honest, I resonate with Martha's mentality - many guests, she wants to be the good host, she's trying to keep the house running smoothly. And then she sees her sister, the one person who should be helping her, sitting down, listening to Jesus speak. Martha expects that Jesus will back her up on this - of course Mary should be helping to serve. But Jesus says no - Mary has chosen "the good portion." She has chosen something better than worrying about getting things done. Something better than filling up our days with tasks, even good tasks. Something that will be of lasting value.
Choose the better thing. Let your values be redefined by God's Word - clear space on the calendar, turn off your phone, take a Sabbath rest. Make sure the rhythms of your life allow you to sit at Jesus' feet. It might mean some hard choices, it might mean shifting some priorities. But it is the better thing, the thing that cannot be taken away from you.