It’s funny when other people notice something about yourself that you don’t. The other day, two different people told me that I seemed frazzled and needed to slow down. I wasn’t sure if I should be more embarrassed or confused. Because I’m fine. I’m not acting any differently than I normally do. But really, should this be a sign that I need to take a deep breath and calm down?
Just a few weeks ago, I was on the other side of the world. Instead of being surrounded by people rushing off to meetings with their paper coffee cups in one hand and cellphone in the other, I saw people sitting. Playing chess. Gathered around watching football (a.k.a. soccer) games. I know they have their own stress, too, but it’s a different kind. It’s less frantic, less rushed, less everything needs to get done/be fixed right now.
Unfortunately, this is how I usually operate. If something of mine is broken, I will drop everything to fix it. If I have a weird ache or pain, forget about whatever I was in the middle of doing. I will be Googling to no end until I find my diagnosis and the fastest cure. Don’t get me wrong–there are times when we do need to shift our focus to other things when they come up. But when we’re doing it with every single little inconvenience that comes our way, then it’s a problem.
I resonate a lot with Martha from the Gospel of Luke. I’d like to think that if Jesus came to my house, I’d be sitting at his feet, but who am I kidding? I know I’d be running around like mad trying to put the dishes away, get the WiFi working, or change the batteries in the smoke detector.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42
Our culture is so fast-paced that slowing down can sometimes seem impossible. But what if we tried to be more intentional about it? I can spend all hours of my day trying to plan, fix, clean, and organize, or I can purposely set aside time to work on restoring myself. Because let’s be real, you can only run on that caffeinated, feverish energy for so long before you crash physically and emotionally. Maybe this is what I need to start doing if I actually want to get a deep breath in and remember what’s actually important. Memorizing this verse would be a good start.