Daily Bread July 21

Find Balance
Susan D. Sloan of Independence, MO, USA

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42

Today’s scripture story begins on an ordinary day in the life of Martha. Jesus offers her a chance to rest and listen, but she is too busy being in charge of the house; she is too afraid to risk and be different. She doesn’t understand what Mary is doing and it upsets her. Jesus invites Martha to be a disciple, to listen and respond.

When preparing for a party at my home, I focus on all the details: cleaning the house, planning the menu, cooking the food, setting the table, and generally organizing the event. While the party is in process, I have to remind myself that what is important is not to record the event on my cell phone so I can post it on social media or to clean up the kitchen while everyone is still there. What is important is to allow myself the time to relax, to experience the present moment, and to visit with my family and friends. What will I miss from the conversations if I’m too busy to pause?

Sometimes in our hurry to do what we think is needed, we miss opportunities to share moments with those we love or with persons who are hurting. Are we busy on social media but not fully engaged in the present moment? Are we texting while at dinner with family or friends? Do we miss the full conversation because we are distracted? What God moments do we miss because we are too busy to pause and listen?

Our culture tells us that to be successful in our vocation we need to be online and available at all times. We feel we are being judged if we don’t have too much to do. Overburdened means we are needed and important, right? Will things fall apart if we aren’t in charge?

Every day offers us a new opportunity to find balance, adjust our expectations, and allow space in our lives for God to enter, to listen for how we might respond as disciples.

Prayer Phrase

I belong with all that lives.

Spiritual Practice

Deep Belonging

Take a deep breath and pay attention to the web of relationships that sustain your life right now. Remember the people who have formed you. Consider the nourishing food and drink that come to you from the planet. Notice all the lives that touched everything that surrounds you. Offer a prayer of gratitude for connection and belonging with God and all creation.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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