Truth

Here at the Brink

As I sat down to write this post, I thought back to about a year ago when I was beginning this venture of blogging. Growing up watching my dad blog had always made me want to follow in his footsteps. Despite all my ambition to do so, fear of imperfection and of not having wise thoughts or grand ideas stopped my pursuit of such a thing. It was the end of 2018 and the start of the new year that reignited my desires to start a blog.

What you should know (if you haven’t put it together already) is that I am very introspective. I think deeply and am always wanting to improve things. I want to do everything to the best of my ability and my constant reflection almost produces a competition within myself, haha. I get excited thinking of ways that I can do things differently to increase efficiency and effectiveness. SO, I am sure you are not surprised that I am a big resolution gal. There is something so thrilling about standing at the brink of a new year. At the end of a year, you are able to look back and see all the ways that God showed up, the challenges you faced, the moments of heartache, the dance parties, the tears of joy, and the fun times with friends. At the end of a year, you can also look forward in anticipation to all that is to come.

I feel similarly about the start of a new semester. After barely making it through the last one and having winter break to think, pray, and sleep, I always feel like a new person coming back. Standing at the brink of a new semester often is accompanied by swirling thoughts of how to improve habits, what needs to change, and what I want to pursue this time around.

So here I sit, prematurely back at my desk at CNU because of RA training. And while I could go on and on about what I learned and what the Lord taught me just in this past semester, for now I want to tell you what I want to do better this semester… because I’m a resolution gal.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you may be familiar with the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus and his disciples came to their home and we see two very different reactions from the sisters. Martha was running around with her head chopped off trying to get the house ready for Jesus. Imagine your mom before a dinner party or before important guests come over: cooking 5000 dishes at once, sweeping the floor, putting on makeup, yelling at you to help her with something, cleaning off the tables, etc. Y’all know what I am talking about. So while Martha was running around doing all these things for her important guests, what was Mary doing? Nothing. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, her attention unwavering. Martha became annoyed and complained to Jesus about her sister’s lack of help. It was Jesus’s response that struck me this morning:

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42 (ESV)

Last semester, everyday was like the hours before a dinner party for me. I have a tendency to get over-involved and it was way too much for me. However, I was conflicted because when I looked around, I felt like all that I was doing was for the Lord. I was so confused and thought, “how am I supposed to do all of this Lord? Where is my help?” Isn’t it funny how Martha was complaining about silly house chores when the Lord of creation stepped into her home? Isn’t it funny how she felt the need to prepare the house when we know that Jesus takes us dirty dishes and all? Isn’t it funny that I grew up listening to this story and knowing that there is nothing we can do to make the Lord any more pleased with us?

I fall victim to the trap of trying to please the Lord way too much. I call it a trap because we take things that the Lord gives us and instead of focusing on Him, we focus on our efforts. I too often focus on the gifts and not the Giver; I too often focus on the opportunities I get to step into and not the purpose of them. All in the name of the Lord, I busy myself with doing way too many things that overwhelm me. I think to myself “oh, I have to make sure I don’t screw this up since it is from the Lord!” How self-righteous is that? How prideful to think that my actions can deter the Lord’s sovereign plan. Martha probably thought she needed to prepare the best meal or have the cleanest house since Jesus chose to stop at her home. The woman went crazy trying to do it all and even became frustrated with her sister! I can hear my voice in her complaining to the Lord – “Lord where is my help? I am doing all these things for you!” Let’s look again at His response:

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42 (ESV)

I felt Jesus’s words in my soul this morning. There is one thing necessary. There is only one thing that will satisfy this longing to please Jesus… Himself. At the brink of this new semester, I am tired of running around trying to do everything perfectly in the name of Jesus. It is a trap. The one thing necessary; the one thing that will last and not be taken from us due to failures or rejections or bad grades is Jesus Himself.

I began this blog post talking about my dad so I feel it’s appropriate to end it with some words of encouragement that he sent me earlier this year.

All the activity in the world… all the fun…. all the craziness… all the responsibility and opportunity… none of it is a beautiful as the simplicity of intimacy with Jesus. Nothing as beautiful as just sitting at His feet and rediscovering every single time that His yoke is easy and His burden light; His grace abundant, His joy contagious and His mercy new every single morning.

I feel like Mary knew this to be true. I pray that this semester you and I can believe this to be true as well. There is only one thing necessary and that is the person of Jesus Christ.

3 Comments

  • Jamie Hansen

    Very timely message Adylen,, especially I think for women,, so often we do get trapped into thinking we have to do everything,, and get all bogged down in the doing, instead of the quiet , sitting before the Lord in His Word and prayer, and just being STILL>. Be still and know that I am God… a key word that jumped out at me that you wrote is the word,,, “tired” , yes when we are doing even good things, ministry things, if we are taking on way to much we get tired,, worn down,, but when we are doing what the Lord plans for us, we have abundant energy and strength,, He has given us everything pertaining to godliness in Christ Jesus.. He is our strength, and energy. I pray for you each day, ,and pray you will learn this lesson young,, its taken me years and finally having no choice but to slow down, and not take on more than I can handle because of increasing health issues, which cause me to have to cut way back,, whether I want to or not… Thank you for sharing,,, praying for you ,, Jamie

  • Jeff Noble

    It’s humbling to read your depth of insight and desire to cherish time with Jesus. Intimacy over activity. I’m praying you find then stillness in the mist of a joyfully demanding schedule. I’m thankful and proud. Love you..

  • Marylee Noble

    So proud of you, precious granddaughter! You have learned early in life what a lot of us adults still struggle with. Intimacy with Jesus is what He desires from us instead of the busyness in which we participate, thinking we’re pleasing God. I’ll be praying for you as you start your next semester, and I know that God will bless and use you in life-changing ways.