Monday, November 24, 2008
A Heart of Preparation
Luke 10:38-42 "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 feet listening 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."
A couple days ago our family celebrated Thanksgiving a little early. This will be our last year to celebrate together for several years since my oldest son will be off to college in Florida next year and they only get the day off, which doesn't allow time to travel to Pennsylvania to be with the rest of us.
With being our last time together I wanted to make it special and meaningful. My thoughts were on that all day until it actually was time to do final meal preparations. You know, when everything needs attention at the same time - setting the table, carving the meat, making the gravy, browning the sweet potatoes and potato filling. Normally these are things that make me very frazzled as I'm in the process of trying to make it all by myself. But this year, I did things differently. Not because I planned it that way. I just knew if I continued on the path I was heading I would end up getting grumpy and affecting everyone in the process. It must have been the Lord, because I called in my three guys to help with various jobs. One was setting the table with the special dishes, the other was getting out the turkey to carve as well as the drippings to make gravy, and the other helped wherever I needed it.
Within a short time we had the meal prepared and were ready to sit down together, and for once I wasn't frazzled in the process. Because I was still in a good mood, so was everybody else. We ate, laughed and shared together. We actually stayed sitting at the table long after the food was consumed, just talking and enjoying each other's company. When we finally did get up from the table, we set about cleaning up the kitchen together. One son dried and put the dishes away while I washed. My husband and oldest son worked on getting the turkey off the bones and put into packages to freeze for later.
We all worked together to get the job accomplished. When we were finally finished it was 9 PM. I couldn't believe how quickly the time had passed. Even though it was late we still sat down to watch the Peanuts Thanksgiving special. It was a wonderful and hopefully memorable evening together as a family.
As we look toward Thanksgiving and Christmas it is so easy to get caught up in the preparations that 'have' to get done, or so we think. I encourage you this year to evaluate what things are really necessary and not to get caught up in the busyness of the season. Remember that less is often best.
Take time throughout each day to ask God to prepare your heart for this Christmas holiday. Allow time to just have some time of rest and not always doing something.
Dear Lord, help me to not get caught up in all the preparations that need to be accomplished in the weeks ahead. Open my heart and prepare me for the things you want to show me this Christmas. May my heart be prepared for whatever I face. Amen.