Have you ever walked in a room to get something, stopped dead in your tracks and asked, “Why am I here?” I have. Actually, I do it pretty frequently. It seems I always have a million things on my mind and the one thing I need to bring to the surface will often dance just out of grasp. Fortunately, most days I can look around and remember what it was I came for, but not always. The point is, I went to that place for a purpose and to forget what that purpose was becomes an exercise in wasted time and energy.
By the same token, have you ever found yourself in the never-ending cycle of….well, of life? Life can be so hectic. Just the everyday stuff of school, work, housework, laundry, church, social obligations, family obligations and the list goes on. Do you ever get so caught up in the act of just doing the next thing that you forget that there’s more? Or, do you stop in the middle of your day and ask, “why am I here?”
I think that’s an important question. Why are we here? I read a meme on Facebook this morning that quoted Mark Twain as saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Well, let me help you out….we’re here to serve. Yes, I know that Mark Twain was talking about your talent, but I’m here to tell you that no matter what your talents or gifts are, the purpose of them is the same.
We live in a world that says, “It’s all about me!” Yet, a quick look at the lives of those who live that way will tell you that there’s no fulfillment in it. I have heard it, read it, written it before….the way to JOY is Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
In Luke 10 (verses 38-42), Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, but stops by to see his friends Martha and Mary. As Martha was in the kitchen preparing dinner, Mary was hanging out with Jesus. The NASB puts it this way,
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Oh. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to be Martha than Mary. I think, in my mind, I’ve always kinda thought of Mary to be the flighty sister who would rather do anything than work in the kitchen. (Oh wait…maybe I am Mary!) But, look at the scripture. It says that Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to His word. When Martha complained about it, Jesus chastised her and told her, essentially, that as busy as she was, all she was doing didn’t matter. What mattered was what Mary was doing…sitting at His feet and learning His way.
Ugh. Well. Hmmm. Are there any other women out there thinking like I am….”but who’s gonna do all this stuff if I don’t???” My other thought is, Does God mean for us to not do these things? Well, no, I don’t think so. I think we have to look at more than those few scriptures. Jesus also told us that the two greatest commandments were to love God and love each other. And, He told us to tell the world about Him. But, I don’t think He’s telling us to skip cooking dinner tonight.
That brings us back to “Why am I here?” Well, we’re here to serve. And love. (You didn’t really think I was going to write a blog without throwing love in there, did you?). And…as Jesus was trying to tell Martha, we’re here to worship God. So. What does that look like in real life? Well, I think the answer to that is as individual as each of us who has to answer it. But, maybe it’s as simple as spending time praying and listening (I think we forget that part sometimes), being purposeful in loving and serving others and remembering the “why” of what we’re doing. Why am I cooking dinner? Because I love my family (and they would live on Cheez-Its and candy if left to their own devices).
Ultimately, I think it boils down to this: There’s so much more than the here and now. Quit living solely for the next dollar or the next dinner. Quit thinking so much about yourself and think about others. When you get up in the morning, ask God what He would have you do with your day. Maybe cooking dinner is your way of serving right now. Or maybe it’s bigger. And spend time at the feet of Jesus! Don’t let life or circumstances keep you from the “necessary thing.”
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!