Maria Thompson, Events Team
I’m struggling writing this post. I’m mainly struggling to write this because I’ve been approaching it with some vague expectation of receiving a burning bush moment from God about EXACTLY what he wants me to put out there. Some new, supernaturally revelatory, yet gritty, down to earth, and refreshingly relevant nugget of wisdom. Instead, I will share a couple points on what God has been, ever so gently, leading me by the nose to lately. And if he speaks to you through them, awesome! If, after reading, you merely come out of it knowing me a little bit better, then great!
Hi! My name is Maria. 😊
Don’t Martha It, Maria
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:41-42 (ESV)
My family are doers. Midwest, farm stock, Scot/Irish/English/German, don’t-think-too-highly-of-yourself doers. We don’t need to be in the forefront. Just tell us what needs to get done and we’ll make it happen, and leave the place looking better than we found it. Much of my childhood was spent setting up or breaking down a church gathering or family event of some sort. During and after college, when I entered the culinary world, I did much of the same. When I moved to Vermont it was probably less than 3 weeks before I had gotten myself involved in putting on a banquet at church, and only 3 months before I signed on to volunteer with Branches! Events and dinners and hospitality – these have always been my way of giving of what I have to honor God and build up his family, and they are good things! The problem, as with our dear sister Martha in the Scriptures, is that over and over again I have let the business of hospitality become a hindrance to sitting at my Master’s feet.
This is not a humble brag. You know, like answering “What’s your greatest weakness” in a job interview with “Oh, I’m just TOO much of a perfectionist.” For myself, it’s the reality. I’ve spent a huge portion of my life as a believer in Christ living out my walk with food and service instead of faith and seeking. The Spirit has been gracious to me lately. He has given me eyes to see when I’m idolizing productivity, or hiding from God behind it, and wisdom to know when to say no to the commitments he’s not asking me to make.
Just Get Started, Maria
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:21-25 (ESV)
When I did finally come around to taking full responsibility for my own relationship with Christ, I found myself floundering. I found myself struggling to break through the familiar and grasp the big picture. I threw my hands up in defeat. “There’s so much that I should already know – how am I supposed to catch up?”
In college I would put off completing papers and assignments and procrastinate like crazy when I was unsure how to get started. I made excuses and sought out distractions time and time again. In my “finest” hour, I stayed up until 3am, fueled by a half a pot of coffee and a Mellow Yellow. All to write what was a very bad speech due at 9:00 the next morning. That went about as well as you can imagine. It never failed, though, that when I would just jump right into the writing process the words would flow, the ideas would take shape, the conclusions would follow. Things started to make sense as soon as I just GOT STARTED.
The Lord brought this familiar truth to mind recently when I was stressing about having an incomplete picture of the Scriptures, and the doubts and insecurities that come with that. He assured me that I’m not required to have a handle on the whole story before I study it, but to simply dive in and submerge myself in the truth and goodness of Scripture. He’s been abundantly faithful to meet me in my asking, seeking, and knocking.
In the off chance that something here was exactly what you needed to be reminded of today, then praise God for all the perfectly imperfect ways he reveals himself to us daily! I am learning with you that when we are caught in procrastination, distraction, or the busyness of life, He tenderly invites us to “get started.” Even when we cannot bring praise to our mouths, the rocks around us and all of creation will sing the praise of His glorious name (Luke 19:40).