This word – Simplify – is not one that comes to mind as we’re rushing headlong towards the holidays, is it? But it is the word our Sisterhood Team heard from the Lord for this year and it seems like a perfect time for us to have a refresher course.
As only the Lord can do, He confirmed this Word to me after my mission trip to Togo in July. Many of you know that I’ve been on a journey to find and create more margin in my schedule. I’ve taught classes on it, coached other women and feel as if most weeks – this margin gives me the work-life balance I’ve always needed. But after Togo, I realized: “Margin is not for Me – it is for ministry or mission” In other words, the Lord didn’t want me to create Margin to have blank space on my calendar. But by creating space, I had been free to make hospital visits, take a meal to someone, or go on mission to Africa.
Then I started reading Bill Hybel’s book by the same name: SIMPLIFY
His words resonated strongly, especially as he gave the Hybels spin on the passage about Mary and Martha. It was like Martha had worked herself into a frenzy, trying to prepare food and be the perfect hostess – when all Jesus wanted was time with his closest friends. He chose their house, after Bethany, because he knew it would refresh and renew him. Then he was presented with Martha worked into a frenzy (and irritated with her sister for not helping) probably waving a wooden spoon and saying “Lord, don’t you care?”
Jesus could have lectured her, could have guilted her about how much he really DID care, but instead he just answers with “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. “ what he was saying is:
“whenever I stop by, it’s not for the food. If I wanted a five-star dinner, I could arrange for it. I just fed five thousand people a week ago. And I made some awesome chardonnay at a wedding reception once. When I stop by, it’s for friendship, for connection, to be with you.”
What he said was “Few things are needed – indeed only one.” Jesus was setting the tone for what he wanted: unrushed, unhurried, relationship.
So we live in a different day and age right? It’s complicated. We live in a complicated culture.
But if Jesus desires only one thing, that sounds pretty simple, right?