Monday, 27 October 2014

Mary and Martha

10 Minute Daily Retreat (no. 9)
By Susanne Timpani
Photo by C.Timpani

This post is a guest post today at Christian Writers DownUnder Blogspot.

I have just arrived home from the Christian Writers Conference and my mind is spinning with a wealth of material to improve my journey as a writer.

In one session, children’s author, Penny Reeve, shared her experience of marketing her work. It’s a part of the trade not too many writers enjoy. Most of us would much prefer to be locked away tapping on a keyboard than out on a platform telling the world why they should buy our books. What Penny did say was to narrow down the marketing mediums to what reflected our personal uniqueness.

This is something I did think long and hard about when I was developing my author website and blog. How could my blog reflect who I am as a writer? My decision to create the 10 Minute Daily Retreat was a scary one. I’ve been praying with scripture in this way for many years now, and it has completely revitalized my relationship with God. But prayer is deeply personal. Who wants to share their spiritual journey with the world?

Yet isn’t that what Christian writers are called to do? Using our gifts and talents to bring others closer to Jesus was definitely a message I picked up on during the weekend.

The Gospel story that best describes the elements of the 10 Minute Daily Retreat is ‘Mary and Martha.’ Luke 10:41-42  It’s so easy for most of us to get caught up in the frantic pace of everyday life and forget to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.

I like to think of life as a journey, or a quest. Stories of quests have fascinated readers for generations. Tales such as the The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings show the characters overcoming incredible hurdles to achieve a specific goal.  I think that what transforms our ordinary life journey into a meaningful quest are the reflective stops along the way. Even the Greek philosopher, Socrates, pointed out that, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.’

If you had ten minutes to set aside today, perhaps you could reflect on Jesus’ response to Martha’s busyness. Sometimes I set the timer on my phone if I feel a bit edgy that I might run late for something.  I usually spend the first five minutes reading and reflecting on the verse. It’s important not to speed read, but to savour the words, allowing them to enter deeply into our heart. Sometimes I’ll talk to God during this time, sharing my thoughts or asking Him questions.

“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 10:41-42)

During the second five minutes, it’s time to stop talking to God and listen. It’s in these few minutes that we make room for God to speak to us in any way He chooses.

I have a great team of people who contribute their prayerful reflections to the 
10 Minute Daily Retreat blog. You are welcome to visit my page and join us in this adventure of daily quiet prayer.