Hope is home from college. It’s spring break 2016. I need to get in spring break mode. It’s hard for me unless I leave town and get away from all the things that grab my attention, yet, if don’t get a new mindset, I will miss a rare opportunity to spend some quality, fun, girl time with Hope. It’s always been hard for me to live in the moment. As a young mom, I was busy at multi-tasking, trying to take care of babies and complete my to do list. It was always a challenge for me to just sit on the floor and play for more than 30 minutes at a time (or maybe it was 15 minutes). There was too much to do! Oh, how I wish I could go back to those days and just soak in the laughter, the milestones reached and the simplicity of life.
Remember the Bible story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42? Martha invited Jesus to her house and then got so busy with all the preparations and missed precious time with Him. She was trying to do everything for Jesus, to serve Him and possibly to win His approval. Martha also became very agitated at her sister Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet and “soaked in” every word He had to say, instead of helping her. Jesus told Martha that Mary had made the right choice. Jesus wants us to abide in Him not “do things” to win his approval.
I have lived most of my life as Martha—preparing, wanting to serve to win approval of others, not necessarily with a servant’s heart. Hope has always lived in the moment. She’s a Mary. She and her fellow classmates have always relished the moment at hand. Perhaps this is why so many college students want to hang out with them. Enjoying life, savoring the moment, marveling at creation…. I think as I get older, I am able to appreciate what’s in front of me a little more, but I still have many days when I struggle with this.
Recently, I experienced the release of a tremendous burden as I was able to truly forgive another. God commands us to forgive one another just as He forgives us. Yet, it seems so hard at times. In fact, it can take many years to forgive because of our pride, bitterness and/or hardened heart. Unforgiveness wears on us physically, mentally and emotionally. I have prayed to be released from this burden for years, and one day it happened. When I was truly broken and ready to let go, the Holy Spirit flooded me with a freedom and peace that only He can give. That was the beginning of experiencing a few more of those “present-focused” moments. When we forgive, God releases His blessings on us so that we can experience all that He intended for us. I was able to witness the beauty of 2 baby wrens on the porch outside my kitchen window building a nest, transporting one piece of straw at a time. It was such a gift to be able to witness the preparation, patience and preciseness of these 2 busy birds. Had I ever taken the time to notice the miracles of God’s creation? Not very often. I’ve just been too busy, too consumed with what’s next, checking off my list and preparing or worrying about the next day, week or months ahead.
Mary got it! She knew she was in the presence of the Lord, and she wanted to soak it all in. Hope gets it too! Oh, how she continues to teach me about enjoying life, enjoying the gifts of each day–unburdened by her circumstances– and just soaking it all in.
I want to be a Mary and a Hope, recognizing that what’s right in front of me, the present, is a gift to be enjoyed.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” (Author Unknown)
Spring Break, here we come!