As I mentioned before in a previous blog entry, I watched the September 2016 Apple Keynote event. One thing during the event that kind of went unmentioned afterwards was the release of WatchOS3. It’s the latest version of software that Apple is putting on their watches. I have an Apple Watch and thought to myself “Neat, I’ll get that updated” when I saw it being announced. The day it came out, I installed it (being the techy guy I am). My watch is working better than ever and I’m very pleased with it, however there is one feature that Apple decided to add that I am still shaking my head at. In fact, it is sort of the motivation for part 2 of our communication mini-series. This particular feature is a little watch app called “Breathe”. The picture just below is a snippet from the Apple website about what the idea for this is:
Here’s what gets me… When did we get to the point where we have to have the technology that we’ve created to make our lives easier remind us to slow down and just breathe? Is the quest for speed, efficiency and cold calculated precision in our lives costing us more than we can see on a spreadsheet? With all of these thoughts rolling around in my head, it brings me back to an account in the bible where 2 people were each trying to do what was best, but one of them didn’t see the bigger picture.
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 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 10:38-42 (NLT)
Don’t Focus on the Small Things
I can picture the scene in my head… Martha is in the kitchen needing some help to fix enough food for everyone while her sister is just out there doing nothing (in her eyes). Mary however, is sitting at the feet of Jesus being fed spiritual food by her savior and completely ignoring anything else going on. Both sisters loved Christ, but their priorities were a little different. How easy it is in life to fill each of these sister’s shoes. We can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle that we miss the big picture. It’s all too easy to do this when it comes to those that we love the most because they’re “just there”. We cannot let the activities that are familiar to us let us feel like we have permission to neglect communicating with our loved ones. There are times when I am worried about things that aren’t even going to occur for another month and I don’t notice that my wife has something on her mind right here and right now. By simply slowing down and making sure that I’ve spent time with her and have opened my heart to her I can avoid all of this to begin with. Are you so busy doing things for your spouse that you’re not spending any time with them? Furthermore, are you so busy doing things for Christ that you’re not spending any time with him?
“Will this matter in a year?”
When I say “we”, I am fully talking about myself here because this is an area that is tough for me. I am a “details” kind of guy. I fully understand Martha’s point of view here. I struggle with breaking out of the routine and seeing the bigger picture many times. God is still working in this area of my life, but it’s an uphill battle. My wife loves me, and when she thinks that I have a lot on me (because I am worrying about future things) she won’t open up and tell me what is concerning her or bothering her because she doesn’t want to add to my worries. While this may not be toxic for an evening or two, over time it will build up until sometime it blows up. Another thing, I will get my mind so set on doing something or going somewhere that when that plan falls apart, I get upset and find an attitude when the whole time she was just happy to spend time with me. One thing that I have learned, and I try to keep this perspective when looking at problems, opportunities and situations is to ask myself “Will this matter in a year?” If the answer to the question is yes, I seriously need to slow down, pay attention and let God lead me through it. If the answer is no, I shouldn’t react sharply, judge harshly, pay dearly or dwell on it any longer than is needed until I get to the next place in my life and relationship with my wife that it matters what I decide. In light of eternity, do you think what Martha was cooking in the kitchen or what Mary learned at Jesus’ feet was more important?
As I draw this slightly long-winded entry to a close, it’s my greatest desire that if you’re reading this I want you to take a few minutes and breathe. Unlike that app that inspired this entry, I want you to think about the most important relationships in your life and ask yourself honestly if you’ve been “in the kitchen” worrying about little details of the day-to-day or if you’ve been “at the feet” of those most important to you spending time with them. Think about it… you probably don’t remember what you ordered for breakfast one day on the last trip you took, but I can almost guarantee you that you remember who you took that trip with.