24 March 2011

Mary Intentions

I had some people over recently.  New people to the Netherlands.  Well, relatively speaking, since I am also new.  But less than them, making them newbies by default.  Ok, focus.

Anyway, I invited them over because our kids are the same age, and it's hard to get to know people sometimes in a foreign country.

I did this with the best of intentions.  Mary intentions.  To be in the moment, to forge meaningful relationships, and to love others.

And then an hour before they arrived, my ugly Martha came out.  Not that Martha was ugly to Jesus, but my Martha was definitely ugly.  All I could see was the dust flying through the air, the sun shining on the smeared windows, and kid crumbs left everywhere.

So I cleaned.  Never mind that I clean every day, and really the house was already clean.  Nevermind that I should have been rejoicing for the rare sunshine, and that I was able to hang the clothes outside to dry.  Nevermind that my daughter wanted me to play with her.

Mama's busy, I said.  Help me clean.

And most of all, never mind that none of these people signed up to come to a Martha house, although I am the first to admit that it makes visits more pleasant when things are in order.  But these people just wanted to socialize, to let the kids play, and to get to know some fellow expats.

No one commented on how streak-free my windows looked.  No one asked if I had just dusted because all my bookshelves looked so nice and tidy.  No one.

Later, I realized that all I was doing was creating chaos.  Focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong moment.  Like I do a lot. I mean, I still had a good time.  We still laughed and talked, even though it is way outside of my comfort zone to be the one to do the forging of the relationship, the inviting first to my home, the initiative.  But I think I could have saved myself a lot of mad dash craziness if I had just stayed focused on my intention.

Here's hoping and praying you stick to your intentions, that you focus on the right thing at the right time, and that you reap the benefits of knowing and sticking to what's important.