Much like other college students, my agenda is the main reason I stay calm in the craziness of life.
It is filled with neat highlights. Scribbled events and times. Every part of my daily routine written down and accounted for, just as I like it. A schedule with no surprises, no open time blocks--just structure.
Does this sound like you?
If so, know that you aren't alone on this 'control freak train.' I am riding it, too.
As a control freak, I need to know all of the details. Ambiguity makes me nervous. I need to feel certain. I need to have time limits, starts and ends, ETAs. My schedule and sanity depend on these.
Yet when it comes to Christianity, there's one unfortunate catch to being a control freak: God's agenda doesn't look like mine. He operates on a timeless system, not a time-driven one. To God, time is a product of the sinful world we live in that seeks to constrain Him. All God asks of us is to live for Him without time limits or scheduled "faith workouts." Just free, relaxed, focused time.
This principle is illustrated in Luke 10: 38-42, which is the story of when Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha:
"(V.38) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. (V.39) She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. (V.40) But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
(V.41) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, (V.42) but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In this story, we see two types of people. The Marthas; people who live by their schedule and worldly stresses, and the Marys; people who live to connect with and seek the Lord.
Martha was distracted by all around her that she failed to see the answer in front of her: Jesus. She let her mind and soul become overwhelmed by the weight of worldly needs and pressures. Blind to her own peace.
Just like Martha, our society is quick to become stressed and slow to seek peace. We are bombarded by societal pressures to always be doing something—even in our faith lives. We fail to work constantly at deepening our relationship with God, choosing instead to turn His request for 24/7 faith into timed shifts of righteousness.
Mary, however, modeled what our faith should truly be.
She was there for Jesus, for God, and nothing else mattered. Not a schedule, task, or distraction in the world could tear her from Jesus' side. And because of that, Jesus rewarded her with utter peace and blessing.
Imagine how your life and heart would change if you did the same exact thing as Mary, choosing to have a 24/7 faith in God.
Doing this is no easy feat; An everlasting faith in an everlasting God takes self-discipline and the realization that our faith isn’t constrained by time limits. But remember that the reward of a 24/7 faith is God's peace, releasing us from the shackles of our control freak schedules.
So this week, push aside your agenda for God's everlasting one—don't just pencil Him in. You won't regret it!