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Hi! I'm Meghan. I'm glad you stopped by. My hope is whether through food for the body or food for the soul, this blog will encourage and inspire you. One of my loves is to encourage others in their journey. Along with that, I hope to share with you my love for food, fitness, and Jesus!

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The One Thing That’s Necessary: Curbing the Thievery of Task Orientation

Food for the Spirit
LUKE10-42.jpg
March 28, 2017 / By / , , , , , / 4 Comments

So we are a little over 3 weeks into the negativity fast, and I’m checking in…how are you doing?

One thing that I feel helps me keep a healthy perspective is taking time to just BREATHE.  Sometimes just a small upward tilt of the head can help us look up, and see things a bit differently.

I’m reminded of a game we still play when we go swimming.  We see how many times we can swim from end to end without coming up for air.  Have you done this?  I can do one. :)  Barely. When I finally emerge from the water, I am clinging to the edge and gasping for air.  It reminds me of the pace of life at times, and how I feel when I finally realize I’ve been underwater for way too long. 

Recently, an amazing friend of mine (she’s at thehuntingfamily.com) and I were dialoguing about task orientation.  No matter where we are in life, we find our schedules full, our mornings early, our nights late, and our time crunched.  We are all in the same boat.  So much to do, so little time.  But my friend said something that marked me. She asked this simple question, and mind you, this person is a go-getter.  “Isn’t task orientation such a thief?”  

Boy, that one hit me.  My eyes snapped open and I instantly saw those little foxes spoiling the vines! {Song of Solomon 2:15}  With the endless to-do lists in our faces, they rob us of the moment, the day, even the season.  Task orientation steals the connection with that family member telling you something important to them, and it snatches those precious moments to just sit at the feet of Jesus and enjoy Him.  Often, I subconsciously categorize these interruptions as nuisances because I have stuff to do!  Are you with me?  

What a THIEF.  While my friend and I discussed this very thing, she text me a quote from CS Lewis about interruptions.  It is from a letter he wrote, and it applies here beautifully.

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.”

Could it be that what we see as interruptions to our task-filled day could be God sending us gentle reminders to open our eyes and see who and what are before us?  Today is a gift, and I have been incredibly convicted of allowing my task orientation to steal joy and be distracted from the very people God has in my path.  We allow our drive to DO to steal our simple enjoyment of the day and the people who fill it.  (Have you ever been on the other end of this?  Where you are sharing your heart, and the person in front of you is distracted by their to-do’s?  I’ve been known to grab, gently of course, the chin of the person, so they have to look me in the eyes!)  

Cue Martha, from Luke 10:38-42.  

Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching.  But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”

I know people usually read this, and shake their heads at poor Martha, and murmur, “What was she thinking?”  When I read it, I silently relate to Martha’s annoyance and feel to tell Mary to get off her bum and do some work!  Martha was no doubt irritated at the whole scene.  So much so, she pretty much bossed God around, telling Him to set Mary straight.  You see, we do that when we are too busy and distracted.  We snap at people and lose our cool.  We move from rest to control when there is a forever to-do list looming.  It nibbles at our rest, our joy, our quality of time, and it adds weight to the light yoke Jesus paid to give us.  This is one way I can most definitely allow negativity to creep in!  My calendar is full every single day, and I don’t have time for distractions or interruptions or delays.  And when I do experience the latter events, it grates on me.  I have even caught myself smiling through gritted teeth!  I now am seeing so very clearly…this is where I allow negativity, or specifically in my case, annoyance to creep in.  Can you relate? 

And yet I am reminded of the better way.  With Jesus is gently tapping us on the shoulder, saying, “Martha (insert your name here), there’s only one thing that is necessary,” and that’s to sit at His feet.  Another version says, “few things are needed–or indeed only one.”  That’s amazing.  We perceive all of these tasks as necessary.  “I HAVE to get this done!”  Jesus knew there was dinner to be made, work to be done, etc., etc., and He wasn’t/isn’t ignorant or uncaring.  It’s just that He truly knows the better way, and He said there’s one thing that’s necessary.  “Just be with Me,” He says.  Take a load off, lean back, come closer.  He is saying,

“Beloved, our love language is quality time.”

I believe so strongly this better way displaces anxiety and irritability!  We can become less stressed, less critical, and less negative.  In this, Jesus is inviting us to come up for air, to slow down, and not allow any bullying from our list of to-dos.  He simply wants us to enjoy Him, sit at His feet and learn His ways.  He invites us to see interruptions as reminders of what truly matters.  You see, it is the better way.  

Why don’t we allow ourselves some breathing room?  That task (and just so you know, I’m task oriented!) is not that important. That interruption just could be a divine moment and not a nuisance.  Spending quality time, being quiet, and continually listening at His feet will propel us so much further forward than if we were succinctly checking all of our boxes.  And how about the difference in results?  Being so task oriented may have us getting a lot done, but at what cost?  I am learning this better way is how we become loved, refreshed, and refueled.  

Practically, it looks like taking quiet time to talk with God.  It means we slow down; we maybe even stop, sit down, and continually listen to what He’s saying.  I have red tape around my early mornings, and for me to live refreshed, I must spend quiet time with coffee and my good God.  It means smiling at the one who tugs on your shirt, knocks on your door, or causes you to look up, seeing it as an opportunity instead of an interruption.  It means saying no.  It means being led by Holy Spirit, knowing which tasks to do now, which ones can wait, or which ones can be scratched off the list altogether.  It means asking God to open our eyes to see what’s truly important, and not allowing the lesser things bully their way into our hearts.  I am praying that we can all just breathe, relax, continually listen, and enjoy our days.  Because life is too short to be negative and stressed out, and the people before us are too precious.  Jesus said His yoke is easy and light, and I pray that we’d come to experience this very thing in our days!  I pray this helps you as much as it has helped me!

Beloved, keep pressing in, continually listening, and allowing room for the greater things, because God does know the better way.  Slow down, get quiet, and tune in.  Open your hand(s), grab His hand, and just go with it. :)  Allow yourself to be led.  It’s so worth it.  I pray, like the title says, that we curb the thievery of task orientation and make room for the one thing that’s necessary:  Quality time with God.  

Love you guys,

Meghan

 

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4 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Wow Meghan! I need to reread this one. . . like – Every Week!!!!

    Thanks – you are marvelous!

  2. Dennis Goodheart says:

    This is really good Meghan. John Maxwell always says, “walk slowly among the people”. This is just one area you covered, but what a great way to better connect with the folks God puts in our path. I find when I concentrate on this just one idea, I find people far more fascinating and far less irritating.

    Sure love you, Dad

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