If you haven’t caught on by now, I am currently working as a youth minister. I’ve been in this position for about nine months now. My ministry has greatly improved since I started. The consistency of teens showing up has improved and even numbers have increased, even if just by a smidge. Not only that but the energy of the activities we have has improved. The teens want to be there and have fun. I put a lot of time into my job. I go into work in the morning and leave in the afternoon, come home for a few hours, and go back. I think about work all the time. Most of the conversations I have with people are about my job, how it’s going, problems I’m having. I am constantly thinking about ways to improve, how to help the teens connect with our Lord more. When I have a night off, this rarely happens, but when it does, I don’t even know what to do with myself. I go nuts because I don’t do anything else besides work.
I was reflecting today on the story of Martha and Mary. And just for fun, let me give you the run down of the story, just in case you aren’t familiar: So, Jesus was traveling. He arrived in a village and Martha invited him to her home. She then went about serving him food and making him comfortable while her sister Mary sat and talked with him. As this was happening Martha went over to Jesus and asked him why he hadn’t said anything to Mary about her lack of help. Jesus responded,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42
This part hit me. Sometimes I am a lot like Martha. I am hurrying around, setting things up, thinking about ideas, planning, and serving others. And then I complain about how I feel like I’m alone. Actually, pretty often lately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t have the help I need, and not even the Lord is with me. But maybe the problem isn’t that there is all of this stuff to do and it needs to get done. Maybe the problem is that I am worrying about many things and not focusing on the one thing, the only thing that is needed. Maybe instead of focusing on all of the problems and on whether things are getting done I need to be focusing on the one whom all of this ministry stems from. Maybe instead of contemplating MY ministry I should start thinking about HIS ministry.
I’ve been told over and over again that I am not the savior, that Jesus is the savior. Not just that though, He wants to save me, but I have to let him. I work as a youth minister and the Lord has placed me in that position to use me to reach teens. But He doesn’t need me. He could save those teens using someone else or even just on His own. I need to remember that Jesus is the savior and all my job is to let Him do what He wants with me. It’s HIS ministry, not mine. If I’m not letting Him use me, if I’m not letting Him work through me, then I’m not doing my job correctly.
A lot of the time I am too much like Martha, so focused on the day to day details that need to get done. But in order to do my job correctly I need to be more like Mary. And actually, not just to do my job correctly, but in order to be a better follower of Jesus Christ, I need to be more like Mary. I need to stop, step back, observe. I need to talk with Jesus, more importantly I need to LISTEN to Jesus. He is the source of my ministry. He is the reason I’m alive. HE is the one thing that I have need of. So, I’m going to try to be better at stepping back, pondering the Lord, and letting Him work through me, instead of trying to manipulate situations for Him to use.