It's the week before Easter, and I am the communications director at a large and getting larger church, and so I'm scrambling to get the word out and get people in our doors, and finish signs and handouts and plenty of other things.
And yet it's Holy Week -- and something in me longs to slow down, and walk with Jesus as He walks this path from Hosanna, King! to Crucify Him!
In this week, this most holy of weeks, I keenly feel this tension... the tension to run and prepare and make a way, and the call to stop, to pause, and to be present, entering into this week with Jesus, and not just for him.
I see this tension illuminated in Mary and Martha. Yes, the proverbial story of Mary choosing what is better, and Martha hustling and bustling... The story that gets turned into an object lesson, over and over again, of how we should choose Mary over Martha. We should choose rest and sitting and waiting on Jesus, over being everything to everyone.
But the truth for me, is that I am both. I am not one or the other... I am both Mary, and Martha, at the same time (like Audrey Assad sings in Lament). It's a paradox, but I think it's one that I'm to try to embrace, rather than just discard it or try to simplify it.
I can't get away from the busyness and the work of this week. It is part of my job, and it is really a joy. But, I am trying also to be present, and embrace the emotions, the sorrow, the grief and then the great joy of this week.
This tension is the fight of present. Of doing what needs to be done, and working, and making preparations... and yet taking the time to stop, and to be. To wait and to sit. To listen to the One for whom I am doing all this work.
Also, a few years ago, Judah Smith (The City Church Seattle) spoke a message about Mary & Martha that was really freeing for me.