One Thing is Needed.

I had one of those exhaling moments this morning. Do you know what I’m talking about?

It’s almost as if your brain forgets how to multi-task, and you are where you are fully. For a moment, your to-do list fails to exist and the day ahead of you no longerfights for your attention. You are fully present.

“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre & Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ […] He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread & toss it to their dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’”- Matthew 15:21&22, 26&27

The woman was desperate for Jesus. She recognized her deep need for Him, and longed for a small taste, just crumbs, of him. At this moment, she didn’t care that the Jews surrounding her could have her labeled as an enemy and potential threat to their holiness. All she cared about was getting a taste of Jesus.

In Luke 10:38 – 42, Jesus walks into the house of Mary and Martha. In response to his presence, Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said, but Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.”

Martha was busy. She sought to please Jesus through good deeds done; however, her heart was not in the position of humility and worship. Martha was busy trying to impress. She stirred the pot, swept the floor, got out the fine china, and prepared the table. Her feet hurried around the kitchen and her brow broke a sweat. And she did so alone…

“[Martha] came to [Jesus] and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

What was Jesus’ response?

“’Martha, Martha,”’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Only one thing was needed, and that was to humbly sit at the feet of Jesus listening to what he had to say. Getting to know Him.

Although these stories to many of us are age-old lessons, they both struck a fresh cord with me this morning.

In both of these stories, the woman begging for crumbs and Mary and Martha, I see just how desperate people are for Jesus.

Just like Martha, I get caught up in doing – in striving. I get distracted. I strive for approval of man, and I get lost in it. You see, I care about what you think of me, though I shouldn’t. Sometimes, I even spend money I shouldn’t spend just so you and others think I’m ‘cute.’ I even go as far as contemplating what I’m going to say next in a conversation with you, even though you’re talking, because I don’t want to disappoint you with my response.

I’m missing the point.

Jesus said only one thing was needed – and that was to be desperate for him. All else fades away. People’s opinions and all we’re doing to gain positive ones all fall away in light of the fact that He is the giver of life.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus was the only one thing was needed…and He still is.

Lord, may I desperately sit at your feet today. May I not thirst for the praise of men or their approval of me. May I desperately run to you.

"Teenage Daughters"

Throughout my life, I would say there have been two constants: God and Country Music. Tonight, as I watched the Tivo version of the Academy of Country Music Awards with my mom, I realized one of the contributing factors to my life-long devotion to the genre…

More than a few performances in, Martina McBride made her way into the spotlight to begin a song called, “Teenage Daughters.” My mom promptly got my attention and asked that I listen to the words she was singing…

“I ain’t complainin’ but I’m tired, so I’m just sayin’ what I think

And if we’re bein’ honest, and honestly I think I need a drink.”

My baby’s growin’ up, she thinks she’s fallin’ all in love, and that I hate her.

At 17 she’s just like me when I was 17, so I don’t blame her.”

(Hmmmm….I thought the tune was catchy, but I wasn’t quite sure where it was going. Then…)

“It’s like it happened over night. We’re always wrong, they’re always right.

We used to be the ones breaking the rules.

Now we’re just mothers and we’re just fathers,

of teenage daughters.”

Ahhh…I see.

As I was driving home, I did a lot of laughing, reflecting and rejoicing.

I remembered a summer-long frenzy of pranks, volleyball tournaments, and my first solo drive to school. I remembered emotion-filled fights with my parents, and reflected on how I dumb I felt afterword. I wrestled with thoughts of my eating disorder, and the pain caused by it. I laughed over funny sleepover moments, summer memories, and the things I thought were such a BIG deal. I thought about homecoming, prom, graduation, and moving away to college.

I thought about the night I FINALLY stopped living for myself alone, and began to allow the Lord to shape my life. I rejoiced.

As I pulled up to my apartment, I got out of my car and thanked God for the experience of being a teenager. Although there were moments that made my parents run in circles, I can’t imagine walking through the ups and downs of teenage-life without them.

McBride’s song is clever. It got me thinking. It made me thankful. It spoke to my heart. I think that is why I love this music.