Not too long ago I was at my daughter’s house, watching the grandkids. Being with those four is a hoot and a holler. Their capacity for creativity never ceases to amaze me. Or amuse me.
But on this particular evening, I was in a quandary. None of their creativity and fun could assuage the burden of my dilemma. Their humor escaped me. Their quick wit couldn’t mask a very obvious problem.
I couldn’t get the TV to work.
I saw what was most likely the source of my frustration. There were a bazillion remotes–all for the TV. (The slight exaggeration merely stresses the enormity of this problem.)
By this time, the three older kids had wandered away. Obviously annoyed with my inability to get a simple TV going. I looked at Isley, who was looking at me as if I should be a more capable adult than I was proving myself to be in the moment.
“Nana, where’s the movie?”
“Honestly, Isley, if I could figure this out, I would. I don’t know which remote works for which thing.”
She walked over to the basket. Paused a moment, acting as if she knew what she was looking for. She picked a remote up, turned back to me with the air of “asking an adult to do what a kid knows how to do is a waste of time.”
She handed me one that actually made sense. A universal remote. One that’s supposed to work with all the gadgets. (Whether or not it would choose to is another matter. Technology in my hands quickly turns to mush.)
We got a movie to work. With the necessary help of the three-year-old.
Why can’t we just do clap on, clap off?
That basket full of remotes is a great picture of my life. I fill it with stuff–activities, to-do lists, projects, people. All of them need to be organized a certain way. They each need a plan. Do this one way. Do that another. When busyness overtakes me, I often stand there, clicking uselessly on my remote. Wanting change but not knowing how to get it.
Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus. Martha was the planner. She had more remotes than anyone. When she heard Jesus was coming to dinner, she got into a dither, trying to make it all perfect. When He arrived, Mary was content to sit with Him and listen to what He had to say. Martha was irritated because she needed help with all her remotes, just to get things done the way she wanted them done.
“But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:41-42
Jesus was trying to help Martha focus on her need for the true Universal Remote. The only One she needed to help her handle the challenges of life. The busyness.
I get bogged down with the clutter of my life. Jesus brings my focus back to Him–the One who gives my life the direction and substance I need. Jesus ties it all together.
That’s better than clap on, clap off. Any day.