Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cool it!

We have had our Wisconsin grandchildren staying with us the month of July...hence no blogs recently.  But is is a time of lots of adventures, stories and learnings.  This happens in the midst of a summer of uncertainty as we look for a next assignment in ministry for both of us, work on rehabbing a house, and experience 95 degree heat.  (Sounds like the making of a perfect storm.)

This past weekend Al was preaching in a church in Illinois.  The lectionary passage was the story of Mary and Martha, so familiar to those of us raised on Bible Stories.  We usually come away feeling guilty about not being more like Mary, right?  Well, Al's ahha for this story was a bit different.  He began by asking all of us to think of three words that describe us.  Then he talked about the three words Martha might have chosen for herself:  industrious, servant, conscientious.  You might choose different words for her, but so went the sermon.  Then he talked about the three words that Jesus used to describe Martha:  distracted, worried, upset.  And by the way, she lived out those words by being a control freak... Not only did she want perfection, she wanted Mary to take up the work to make it happen.  Jesus wouldn't give in to her control.

Al then told the story of a dinner discussion we had the other night with the grandkids.  Diedrick suddenly asked Al, "Papa, were your first words, cool it?"  It was too funny, belly laughing, tear flowing funny.  "Papa, were your first words, Cool it?"  With that kind of response the conversation went on to, "Or, knock it off?"  Or, "Hey, you guys?"  Al recognized the temptation to be distracted, worried and upset...to be a control freak.

In a way, Jesus words to Martha that day were, "Cool it, Martha."  You are worried and upset about so many things.  I am in control, not you.  You can let go of your perfectionisms, your obsessions, your worries and cares.  Sit down a bit.  Listen to my words and my heart.

There is plenty of Martha in each and every one of us.  It is hard to let go.  Sometimes a reminder from a child is a very good thing.

Jesus, we come to sit at your feet, to rest our heads in your lap, and be loved by you.