Getting to Know the Author of your Story
By Matthew West
Anyone who knows me knows that I rarely slow down. Between touring, writing songs, making records and writing books, there’s never a shortage of things on my to-do list. And even more important than all of that, I’m a husband as well as a father to two daughters who wouldn’t let me sit down for a moment’s rest even if I tried. So, yes, I’m a ‘doer.’
Doers and Dwellers
In the biblical story of Mary and Martha, I can certainly relate to Martha. When Jesus visited her home, she was the one working frantically to prepare dinner for Him while her sister, Mary, was simply enjoying being in the presence of Jesus. Mary’s lack of assistance in the kitchen did not go unnoticed by her busy sister. Finally Martha’s frustration got the best of her and she spoke up. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But what Martha saw as laziness, Jesus saw as wisdom. He passed that wisdom on to Martha in His response to her frustration:
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42 NLT)
All of Jesus’ words are words to live by. His response to a busybody named Martha is no different. And what about you—are you a ‘doer’ or a ‘dweller’? I’m willing to bet that you find it just as much of a challenge as I do to slow down, simply rest and take in the life-giving words of your Savior. There is no wiser investment of our time than for us to spend it with God. Yet we rarely allow ourselves that opportunity and, before you know it, our busy lives take over.
The only way I’ve found to switch from Martha-mode into a posture that’s more like Mary’s is to be intentional. When we don’t set priorities in our lives and make time for what’s important, other things will take over. If I don’t break out of the autopilot of day-to-day activity, I can even become disengaged with what is truly important. How about you—can you take a moment to step away and jot down what you most value, desire and esteem? Then, take some time to record how your time is being spent. Do the two lists correspond to each other?
- New horizons
- Non-stop worship
- One-on-one prayer time
- Out-of-the-box fellowship
My prayer is that you will find the freedom that comes as you lay down your busy agenda and simply “dwell.” That you will be able to dip into the deep well of soul-refreshment from being in His presence. To hit the pause button and allow God to show you some things that perhaps you’ve been too distracted to see. I guarantee that as you do, your life story will be enriched by dwelling in the presence of the Author of every story.