Stay and be

Posted by Anthony Strevett on

Let me tell you something – this morning I woke up with a sore jaw. At first, I thought I was coming down with tetanus (I’ve always been a bit melodramatic). Come to find out, though, I was just clenching my jaw in my sleep. Can I say that I’m a little stressed?

I was (and still am) under an unhealthy amount of stress – partially because I’m a college student, but also because I make myself stressed out. I am involved in (too) much. My calendar is wild. Last week, I found myself telling a friend that I have to plan my day down to five-minute intervals. I truly believed that being busy was the best new thing since Christmas.

There’s a mindset in our culture that is the driving force behind America itself. It’s a simple one: “go and do.” When you “go and do,” you accomplish many things. You make more money, you make more friends, and more people admire you and your accomplishments. Subsequently, you get more things, more power, and more influence. Can you see why this is a cultural mindset? The American Dream is to make your life better, based solely on your own accomplishments.

I was completely fooled by this idea, but I had given it a little twist: I told myself that I am going and doing for God. I’m always going to the church, the FLC, or some church-related activity. And I’m always doing things for others, sometimes not allowing myself to do things that I need to do. Please do not misunderstand me: I am not saying that going and doing, especially when it comes to our church, is a bad thing. Instead, I am saying that I have realized there needs to be balance.

Allow me to introduce a new motto: “stay and be.” This is what we, as Christians, need to balance with “go and do.” God wants to spend time with us, and how best do we spend time with others? When we are still! An oft-quoted verse, “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10), is what I think of most when considering this. In Luke 10:38-42, crazy busy Martha, worrying about everything she needs to get done, is in sharp contrast with the peaceful and focused Mary, sitting and learning from Jesus. Jesus gently rebukes Martha for being busy, and indicates that Mary has chosen what is better. I love this passage, because I identify with Martha – I think we all can. However, we should take Mary’s attitude as an example, and learn to slow down and to “stay and be.” I know I need to do so.

As I continue to wrestle with this idea of balance, I invite you to reflect upon your life, and to decide if you have found a balance. God calls all of us to go and do, but He also calls us to stay and be with Him.