Once I start, it’s hard to stop. My husband, my parents, and even my doctor chastise me for the unhealthy habit.
But that high I get keeps me going. When I run out of steam, I keep going anyway. Today, I planned out the entire semester – each day complete with a list of which assignments will go in the grade book – and the result was pure happiness. And sheer exhaustion. I almost fell asleep at Wednesday night church.
The only soul able to stop me is unborn. If I can’t stop for myself, or anybody else, I try to stop for her. When I push myself to my limits, I’m stressing her out, too.
But I’m addicted to checking off those to do list items. I love to be in control of the chaos, not controlled by it. And I love to go the extra mile. When you’re ahead of the eight ball, why stop?
Our society values such insanity. Really, if you’re not going an extra three miles, you’re irrelevant. If you’re not performing well above the line they draw, you aren’t anything special. Notable. Mentionable. Worthy of praise or promotion.
You’re just kind of…there.
For those set apart – those free of worldly standards – there’s this Godly standard. And there’s this Proverbs 31 business. I sure do love that Proverbs 31 woman. I’ve always wanted to be like her. She reminds me of my mom, who would rise early and work tirelessly until the sun went down. She made sure our lunches were packed and that we made it to Wednesday night church if our homework was done.
That Proverbs 31 woman thinks of everything. She’s going the extra three miles and setting a Godly standard.
Man, she’s got it together.
But why didn’t she bother to show us her devotional life? She does not “eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). From sun up to sun down, she provides for her family and everyone else. She balances responsibility like a queen. Yeah, we get it. She’d win “All-Time Best Housekeeper” if Good Housekeeping gave such awards.
Yet, I ask, “why didn’t we get at least one verse about her wisdom in slowing down to care for herself?”
It is for this reason, I believe, that Jesus gives us the short story of Martha and Mary.
Martha: total Proverbs 31 woman material. And good thing, too. When you’re hosting the Master, you’d better have it together. Better make it a clean, cozy, and comfortable experience when God stops by for supper. Right?
We all identify with her. We have great role models, or dreams, of domestic perfection. Of career perfection. And yet, all the accomplishment and striving leaves us…frustrated.
Why isn’t anyone helping us with all these to-dos anyway? Why is no one else going three extra miles?
Maybe Jesus let us in on Mary’s secret because Solomon did not let us in on how that ancient wonder woman kept centered.
It’s important to be responsible. To care for others. To take care of business. To be the “ant” and not the “slug” (Proverbs 6:6-11) Yet, Jesus graciously reminds us that though the Proverbs 31 woman is worthy of praise, Mary focuses on the one thing that matters: Jesus.
That’s it. In this crazy world we experience a day at a time – because could we handle much more? – Jesus is the one thing that matters. The one thing worth our complete devotion.