It seems like I spend a significant amount of my life in preparation.  I prepare meals that are gobbled down by my family in minutes.  I prepare for Bible study lesson plans, agendas for leading meetings, and logistics for a summer mission trip.  All those tasks not withstanding, there is always preparation to be made for the next holiday, the ensuing family celebration, or the upcoming vacation.
And each morning I prepare to face the day with make up and a blow dryer.
My personal struggle in expending all of this energy is I often miss simply “being” in the moment. To live in the moment sounds like a new age mantra.  However, as a woman grounded in God’s truth, isn’t there a desired balance between preparation and enjoying the here and now?
I think of Jesus’ friends, the sisters Mary and Martha.  Secretly I have always admired Martha for her work ethic and wanting to make proper preparations for her guests.  That is what my hard-working grandma, one of my role models, would have done.

Yet at what cost did Martha, my grandma, and women across the generations like us, spend in busy preparations?

Worry.  Distraction.  Cumbered.  Troubled.  These are the result of Martha and my over emphasis of preparation.  Do you spend time preparing, consumed with distraction or trouble, cumbered with tasks?  I know I do.  This need to be constantly and completely prepared takes a toll on my relationships, both with others and with my Lord.

Only one thing is needed.  Mary sat and listened.  Jesus said she chose what was good.  It seems obvious that preparations that keep me from hearing Jesus voice are not what are good.

As ministers in the church, we cannot become so consumed with preparing that we miss opportunities for spirit-filled worship, for reading and hearing Gods powerful Word, for genuine fellowship and all the good gifts God means for us as His people.

How does this look in a practical application? I will stop in the middle of fixing dinner to shoot a few baskets with my son.  I won’t be too busy at work to take my sisters call.  I will be still, look in my husband’s eyes, and share a few meaningful moments.  And at the end of the day full of preparations, instead of preparing lunches for the next day, I will stop, sit down in my comfortable chair, pick up my favorite book, and listen to what He says.

I challenge you women of preparation to choose what is good.  Stop.  Sit and listen.  Enjoy God’s good gifts!