Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-settings.php on line 399

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-settings.php on line 414

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-settings.php on line 421

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-settings.php on line 456

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 576

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 576

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 576

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 576

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 593

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 687

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 687

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 687

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 687

Strict Standards: (christro) Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/classes.php on line 710

Strict Standards: (christro) Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 58

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/cache.php on line 99

Strict Standards: (christro) Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/cache.php on line 404

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: (christro) Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /afs/athena.mit.edu/activity/c/christro/web_scripts/elements/wp-includes/theme.php on line 576
A Simplified Heart
{elements} header image 2

A Simplified Heart

April 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Submitted by Diana Jue ‘09

“How are you doing?” It’s a question I ask and am asked. Around this time of year, with only three more weeks until finals (!), an honest answer from me is, “Eh.” The monosyllabic, slightly refined form of a grunt encompasses how I feel. Sleepy. Tired. Busy. Stressed. Overcommitted? Maybe you feel the same. How is it that we can’t shake this feeling that we just keep doing, doing, doing?

The story is one that I had heard many times, but this time it seemed so applicable. You probably know about Mary and Martha. Jesus visits the sisters’ home. While Martha is busy with preparations, Mary sits listening at Jesus’ feet. When Martha complains that Mary isn’t helping, Jesus replies, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed” (Luke 10:41).

The notion of reducing involvements has been on my mind recently. Logically, it makes sense that a busy person has less time to spend with God. What needs to be cut back so that more time can be spent with Him? A simplified schedule seems to be the answer.

But is this the right way to approach the issue? For example, I don’t consider myself an overly involved person. However, I can become engrossed in my few activities (which, I admit, includes the ubiquitous thing called “school” that will haunt me until late May - or maybe until I graduate). Yet even though I’m not relatively busy, I can still be distracted from Jesus, whom, as a Christian, I claim to be the most important. Therefore, the real question is, “What does my heart want? Does it want too much?”

Jesus doesn’t tell Martha that she is too busy doing too many things. Rather, He tells her that she is worried and upset on many things that aren’t as precious as Him. I think that this is a distinction. Martha was worried and upset because she wanted more (for example, a perfectly put together evening and awesome preparations that would bring attention to herself) when only Jesus and a relationship with Him was needed.

And who would be able to see this? Not necessarily someone with a simplified schedule. Rather, someone with a simplified heart - a heart that wants only one, needed thing that all other desires are built upon (Psalm 37:4). Jesus. It’s not that all other wants are bad - desires like other people or good grades or a job can really be quite good. But Jesus needs to be the focus. As Christians, we’re in a love relationship with Him. He wants to be wanted. And my, how He has so lavishly loved us.

This might lead to cutting back activities. Or it won’t, if we know that God has called us into certain commitments. There are some activities that God places in, such as our ministries and school (hey, God brought us here for an education, too). However, it is possible - albeit difficult - to live like Mary in this Martha world, living for God without being distracted by, well, life. And Jesus will bring the much needed rest (Matthew 11:28).

But it begins with the desires of the heart. So I throw the question back. Do you want too much? Or do you want the one thing that is - who is - needed?

Tags: Real Life with God · Submissions

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Agario // Mar 29, 2022 at 6:31 am

    When I was not a Christian I was told that there should be a difference between Christians and non-Christians. So, I started watching people.

Leave a Comment