"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11 (NASB)
I think I may have finally found the rhythm to my schedule again after a busy week. I was thrilled when my brother called to say he was coming from Colorado to visit, and would be here for Easter. I knew it would be a change-up in our regular schedule, but gladly welcomed the change. It has been well over 30 years since we sat together on Easter Sunday and I was excited to share the experience again. In addition to the joy of having my older brother in church with me, we had a fun time at our church's annual picnic and enjoyed seeing two of my grandsons (his grand nephews) get baptized. It was a blessed and emotional experience having him here for these very special occasions. The flood of childhood memories in addition to the joy of our family getting to spend time together was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
One of the biggest challenges I find when faced with emotional and exhausting experiences is to remain Christ centered. Even though my hearts desire is to demonstrate a Christ-like attitude at all times, if I'm not careful, emotions and physical weariness can hinder me. Although it is only natural to try to make sure my brother had a good time while visiting, I needed to be mindful of his schedule and desires as well. Because his natural tendency is flexible, it took me awhile to realize what he wanted most was simply to visit with us.
His humble spirit was a great reminder to me about how busyness can get in the way of service.
It made me think of the verses in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus admonishes Martha after she expressed her frustration that her sister Mary was sitting at His feet listening to Him speak as she was scurrying about trying to serve Him dinner. It says "Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she and her sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving". When Martha was finished sharing her frustration about not having Mary's help and told Jesus to tell her to do so, Jesus answered "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (verses 41 and 42).
As always when God shows me these things, I am humbled and blessed in the same moment. Sometimes in my zeal to serve, I forget the greater part of simply sitting and being in fellowship. One of the greatest gifts God has given us is grafting us into His family and calling us to spend time together sharing our lives with each other. The best way I know to do this is to spend quality time with Him first, and then avail myself to those He brings my way. It means setting my plans on how things should be done aside, and willingly placing myself in a position to hear Him speak. When I do so, I am always satisfied and at peace.