Crystal clear waters babble beside me as I trek through the forest. I imagine that my head looks similar to that of a bobble-head as it darts rapidly to-and-fro trying to savour every morsel of beauty around me. Every place my eyes land they are treated to the burning reds and glorious oranges of a brilliant German Autumn. From the colourful canopy above me a handful of leaves gracefully rain down to my feet. Magical. Inhaling the fresh mountain air deeply into my lungs, I revel in the beauty of this tranquil day.
It is easy to see why so many fairy-tales were written here. Every turn I take I half-expect to see mythical creatures emerging from the underbrush of the forest; when I look at a quaint patch of mushrooms emerging from the moss I think for a moment that a fairy might come and ever-so-daintily sit atop it.
This forest seems like it fell straight from a story book. The magnificent trees are interspersed with lush rolling hills, all dotted with small villages. And while it is ethereal and enchanting, just like any story, I can sense a dark side. The trees hold an otherworldly antiquated feel to them. They tower over me with eerie mysterious secrets from ages gone by. I understand why the fairy-tales written here all had a dark side. I can feel something here waiting to be found. It feels likes when something is right on the tip of your tongue. I can feel it but I can’t quite grasp it, yet.
What a strange mystifying feeling it is when you can feel something waiting beneath the surface for you, waiting to be dug up, but it’s impossible to know where to start. That feeling is all to real to me right now. My heart feels restless and my nerves are a mess, I repeatedly start digging, but always feel like I am barely scratching the surface. How do I know I am even digging in the right direction?
Just as I begin to work myself up the sun breaks through the trees above me. Soft channels of light filter through the leaves and touch my face ever so gently. A reminder.
The warmth of the sun caressing my tired body is a reminder that God is looking down on me in love. It is a reminder that my worth is not determined in what I am doing or if I am “digging enough”. Sometimes Jesus will be doing the digging for us. He will take that feeling of something being on the tip of your tongue, and the curiosity that it ignites, and he will use it to pull you closer to him. He will take your wondering and your wandering and you will see him there.
I am painfully and slowly beginning to realize that the goal has only ever been, and only ever should be, closeness and relationship with God. Sometimes it takes the uncomfortable, the curiosity, the wondering, the wandering, and the in-between messy moments of life to remind us of that, and bring us back into the arms of our Saviour. To remind us to be more like Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet, and less like Martha who did not stop “hustling”, even when her King was sitting right there, waiting.
“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.’” Luke 10: 38-42
How often are we “worried and upset about many things”? How often are we distracted trying to hustle and grind to prepare for life when Jesus wants us to stop and be still in his presence?
The world may be of a “Martha mindset”, but we are not of the world.
Stop digging restlessly; stop worrying and fretting; stop busying yourself endlessly, and rather lean into Jesus wherever you are at.
He has the answers and he has the plan, you don’t need to force it.