Devotions

Adjusting Your Pace-of-Life in 2018

January 1, 2018
“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” Luke 10:40 (ESV)
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I’m not a morning person.

I never have been. During my school days, I woke up at the very last minute to dress and brush my teeth before hurrying out the door. I usually reduced breakfast to dry cereal in a cup that I shoveled in my mouth once I jumped in the car.

But some days, I acted the polar opposite. On a rare occasion, I’d pop out of bed before the sun came up and be ready for the day, long before anyone else. These were usually field trip days. A break from the norm, an exciting adventure! Those were the days I looked forward to, and my morning routine proved it.

In our key verse today, we find Martha preparing for a break from the norm. It’s festival time in Israel, and Martha is busy with all the surrounding details that come with it. Festival time was a big deal. It was appointed by God and carried specific directives about how, when and where to celebrate.

Then there’s Mary, Martha’s sister, who seemed completely oblivious to the added demands of this big moment. While Martha hustled and bustled, Mary “sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching” (Luke 10:39b, ESV).

Mary’s actions seem insignificant on the backdrop of the big festival at hand. Martha certainly thought so. Yet, the Bible records a different perspective.

In response to Mary’s choice to slow down and sit at Jesus’ feet, our key verse says, “But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me’” (Luke 10:40).

First of all, can’t you just see Martha with her hand on her hip, tapping her foot? Oh my goodness, she’s throwing a temper tantrum at Jesus! I love how Jesus does not appear to point His finger at her and usher a stern, “No ma’am!” Instead, He gets straight to the heart of the matter.

Jesus exposes Martha’s heart and the anxiety bubbling beneath the surface. Then He turns to Mary simply sitting near Him and calls it good.

Did you catch that? Scripture labels the “big” moment a distraction. Jesus points to the “small” moment as the good portion.

Our days are filled with things that excite us and things that feel dull and mundane. Sometimes we pace our days according to the agenda before us. The big moments pull us out of bed and usher us full-speed ahead, while the small moments call for us to linger and perhaps enjoy one more cup of coffee. But sometimes, I think we get it backwards.

From the perspective of God’s throne, I don’t know if big and small moments even exist. Instead, every moment is “from him and through him and to him,” (Romans 11:36a, ESV).

As we begin this new year, let’s approach every moment as one God has appointed for His glory. Let’s leave room in the pace of each day to linger in our quiet time listening to Jesus. Let’s slow down … even when we feel pressed by life’s seemingly “big” moments to neglect what we perceive as small.

Eventually I learned to become a morning person. Now, when I wake up I choose not to catalog the day’s events and decide if I want to get up or go back to sleep. Instead, I start by talking with my Lord. My time with Him sets the pace for the day, and that alone makes getting up worth it!

Lord, I give You this day. I’m excited for all You have planned for me today. I trust You will use every moment, big and small. Help me to adjust my life to Your priorities. Set my pace so it complements, not competes with, Your purposes. Help me to walk in step with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (NKJV)

Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (NKJV)

RELATED RESOURCES:

We are too often led astray by what the world has to offer, and the same was true for God’s chosen people, the Israelites. Like them, we’re left with the question: When will our final rescue come? Join us for the study of 1 and 2 Kings: A Story of God’s Grace for a Rebellious People. The study starts TODAY, January 1, on the First 5 app! Order your Experience Guide today.

CONNECT:

Are you ready to pace yourself correctly in 2018? Stop by Katy McCown’s blog today, to receive a free video series, Pacing Your Schedule to God’s Purposes.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:

What’s the first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning? Which moments in your day do you tend to overlook and dismiss as insignificant?

Ask God to help you embrace and invest in every moment today, trusting He will use them for His purposes.

© 2018 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.

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