Relax, It's Christmas

That's what Mary was doing as she sat at Jesus' feet: taking proper care of herself. If we will learn balance and wisdom, peace and pace, the performance and accomplishment will come. But again, God's project is developing us. He doesn't actually need us to get things done for him; from a valley of dry bones He can raise an army of homemakers or legislators, writers or engineers. He didn't create us because He needed us for yard work: He created us to love and relate to Him.

I have found over the years that God does care about the projects I have launched and thrown myself into. He doesn't despise our interests and concerns. He will help us with them because He loves us, and because accomplishment is an important element in our mental and emotional economy. But if we are worried and upset over the things that occupy us, we are out of balance, and I don't think He will keep rewarding us for mistreating ourselves.

The good news is that this is not a rebuke; it is a form of liberation. God really does care more about our inner peace, and our state of contentment and communion with Him, than He does about anything else. If we trust Him and give up our worry and stress, He won't let us down. There is no time like the Christmas season to truly learn that lesson. We all have different thresholds; there is no universal standard for trying to do "too much." The limit for each of us is when we, like Martha, become worried and upset.

Some of our Advent wreaths may not spend Advent where they are supposed to. But I am learning to ask, "Does God love me? Have I done my best?" And then to smile, take a deep breath, and say, "Well, okay then!"

12/12/2011 5:00:00 AM
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  • J. E. Dyer
    About J. E. Dyer
    J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval intelligence officer and evangelical Christian. She retired in 2004 and blogs from the Inland Empire of southern California. She writes for Commentary's CONTENTIONS blog, Hot Air's Green Room, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.