I like to think. When I know that I have some task or thing to do that requires activity but not much mental attention (like doing dishes, for example), I make sure that I find some article or homeschool blog post to read so that I have something for my brain to mull over as I do the routine task.
I also like ideas. I enjoy browsing Charlotte Mason websites, homeschool boards on Pinterest, and blogs on toddler and preschool activities.
However, this weekend, all of these ideas and thoughts and information crowded into my brain and instead of inspiring me, left me feeling guilty and anxious. I feel guilty in schooling because I am not doing enough. Or maybe I’m doing too much. There is so much to worry about as a mom and homemaker: our budget, the effects of television on my childrens’ brains, the food I feed my children, immunizations, getting the children outside and exploring nature. And then there are so many choices. Choices in health care, at the grocery store (and so many grocery stores to choose from!), in our schedule. I am in information overload.
This weekend, I really feel what the author is saying in Ecclesiastes 1:18, “For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”
All of these cares upon my soul led me to look up the passage in Luke where Jesus visits the home of Martha and Mary.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feetlistening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
When I read these verses this morning, peace flooded my anxious heart. Martha wanted to serve the Lord. But she was letting her heart get divided and distracted from the Lord and onto worldly things. I’ve been worried and upset about many things- good and worthy things to care about, to think about. But only one things is needed- a relationship with the Lord.
Matthew Henry comments about this passage, “Serious godliness is a needful thing, it is the one thing needful; for nothing without this will do us any real good in this world, and nothing but this will go with us into another world.” (Vol. 5, pg 557)
Whether or not we watch television- and how much television we watch, the quality and healthfulness of the food I serve, and the educational activities I plan and carry out with my children are not really eternally significant. Worrying over these things will not save me or my children. Only Jesus can do that. (And I think that in 1,000 years, my fretting over these things will seem ridiculous.)
Don’t get me wrong, feeding my children healthful food, taking care to limit unhealthy influences on television, and teaching my children are good things that I need to do. And getting ideas from others can be very helpful. But I need to remember to not compare my life and my gifts and my home with other people’s lives, gifts, and homes. I need to remember not to live seeking the approval of others. I need to live only for the approval of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And this approval He already has secured for me.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? …And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? …But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. …So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34
So I will seek first His kingdom. I will sit at His feet, drink in His presence and be transformed by His truth. And then I will do the best I can in life with the information I have (and in God’s strength!) and let the Lord handle the results.