answers (and our true need)

Oftentimes in my life I’ve wanted to find answers to problems, to troubles which plagued me. In our day we can google and learn so much, and oftentimes quell/still our fears, though that can be a two-edged sword as well, as we learn things we just as soon would like not to know. On balance though, I think such quick access to oftentimes good information is good.

I think though in my life I have oftentimes failed to be looking for the kind of answer I really needed. Not that the down to earth, nuts and bolts answer is bad. That has its place, though I’m also convinced that the emphasis put on it, as well as the confidence invested in it is easily out of place. What I failed to do at least pretty much across the board during such times, was endeavor to find what we might call a spiritual formation kind of answer to the problem or issue.

I think this must come from the propensity to want to solve problems myself, yes even with the Lord’s help. What I needed first and foremost was not some resolution of the kind I was seeking, which is always subject to being challenged and overturned. No, I needed to find what the Lord might say, how he might direct me through the problem or issue.

Maybe I’m like Martha and not like Mary:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I have been and still too often am distracted by this and that instead of attending to what really matters. Not that we can’t get other answers to problems and issues as well. We can work on that. But that will leave us high and dry if we don’t turn to the Lord to get his word to us in the midst of it all, to find out our true need. A word for us and through us in Jesus for the world.

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