Confession time: I’m an avid reader, dreamer and deep thinker, and mostly I’m happy to be so. I can so easily lose myself in words, reading and reflections.
My parents grew impatient with this daydreaming girl with her head in the clouds and nose in a book. They gave no encouragement to pursue this pathway.
It’s not something I deliberately chose to be, but it’s the way God designed me as contemplative by nature, thirsty for knowledge.
There’s nothing I love more than discussing life and faith issues – including tricky theology sometimes – with my beloved over coffee, as and when I’m awake and alert enough to do so.
And sometimes I forget to switch off and resist all the pondering and questioning.
Sometimes I get tied up in knots on the inside and wonder how on earth I got there, and please won’t someone untangle me?
A mind can go into overdrive and make us weak with exhaustion, weary with worry, depleted with discussion.
I’m a naturally driven type of person and the slowing down which having M.E requires of me can cause huge frustration. Even after more than 20 years I still chafe at the restrictions it brings.
Inevitably, once a little bit of energy, ability and strength are available, the tendency is to take it by the horns and run with it until it is no longer there and I’m too spaced out to notice or to care.
But if I allow myself to have burnout from being too busy, then I’m prone to become more unwell and less of the person God desires me to be.
These latter summer days find me needing a great deal of rest in body, mind and spirit. I no longer have any ‘get up and go’ feeling unless it leads to bed.
Reading remains a great pleasure and a bit of a compulsion too, truth be told, because there are so many great books and blogs out there to feast on. A discerning woman in need of a helping hand doesn’t have far to look to find something edifying on the internet.
A word of encouragement? Sorted. A Bible study or prayer circle? Yes, sister. An insight or two? That will do nicely, thank you.
Although they are in fact no more than tasty, insubstantial snacks compared to the fullness of God’s word, and I’ve been in danger of filling myself up with those good, yet transitory things, and neglecting to make the Bible my main source of soul nourishment.
We need the manna of His word, the rocket fuel it provides to see us through the daily, the sustenance and strength it gives for every circumstance, the encouragement and hope we need to keep going in ordinary days as well as when troubles come our way.
It’s all too easy to be satiated by the stuff we read and let it inform our thinking in ways which the Bible is meant to do.
Only one thing is essential and we are all the poorer for neglecting it.
And the more I read on-line, the more I can be drawn into making comparisons between that writer’s audience and engagement being huge compared to mine, or her words having a far greater reach and impact.
It can lead me into discouragement and fussing over whether or not I have the means (or desire) to build any kind of platform.
Wondering if it’s worth sharing at all when there are already so many better/wiser/louder voices speaking about the topics dear to my heart.
I sense God speaking to me like Jesus spoke to Martha:
“Martha, dear Martha (or Joy, dear Joy.. feel free to insert your own name here), you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it – it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her” – Luke 10:27 – The Message – (bits in brackets and bold all mine).
As God sees it, we need to eat the essentials, feed on the favour He bestows, become satisfied by all our soul requires in relationship with Him.
He is asking me to heed the need to rest – physically, yes, but most of all in Him.
Only one thing is essential in this life and that’s getting to know God. When we’re in relationship with Him we can discover how He wants us to live, to write, to create for Him.
Because if we only look to others (wise and good as they may be) for our help, support and guidance we will soon lose our way, become confused and not see how God wants to lead and teach us via His word and loving companionship.
Other people can unwittingly drown us with their own demands, even if it’s the gently pleading ‘read this’ or ‘come join this group’ or ‘sit with us’.
I’m choosing the one thing essential for me and sitting with Jesus in quiet obscurity, which means engaging, reading and writing only as He indicates it’s fine to do so.
Trying to ignore the pressure of living up to the expectations of others as I follow where God is calling me to be.
These are Mary days for me as I finally grasp the need to still myself in Him, listen to His voice and be obedient to His will.
Maybe they are days which will produce writing/blogging fruit for the future, or just fertile soil for my soul. I don’t know.
Maybe you can hear a similar plea to draw aside for a while? If so, please don’t listen to me, do the one needful thing and listen to Him, see what Jesus is saying to your heart.
May I pray for you?
I lift my friend reading this to you. Be her wisdom and strength.
Guide her to abide close by your side, curled close to your heart.
Show her the ways in which she may have to slow in order to grow.
Reveal her heart’s deepest need and highest joy.
Help her to find her greatest soul solace and rest in relationship with you.
Keep her safe under the shadow of your wings, and reveal when she needs to spread her own and fly free.
Enable her to be aware when it’s time to pause, time to sit still and time to be active for you.
Help her to hear your voice and be comforted by your love, now and always.
Joining with soul sisters:
Holley at coffee for your heart
Jennifer at Tell His Story
Barbie at Weekend Whispers