Sitting Is The Secret To Standing
The couch. The recliner. The dining table. The toilet. (Sorry. But its true.) Your car. The bus, subway, train and every plane you ever boarded. The desk at school. Your cubicle at work. The pew at church. The movie theater. The restaraunt you like so much. The doctor’s office. The hair salon. Any waiting room. Probably, even while reading this note. It simply amazes me how much of our lives is spent sitting.
Some things in life are just easier and more enjoyable when sitting. Sure, some of us probably stand over the kitchen sink and eat from time to time. But it’s not the ideal way to enjoy a meal at a fine Italian restaraunt. Most eating establishments are chair friendly for a reason. Or how about this? Pass on the seat next time you go to the movies. Stand instead. I give you about 15 minutes at most. I don’t care what kind of awards the movie might win. I’m not standing for 2 hours at a time to watch anything. Give me a seat or give me my money back!
Our first encounter with Mary finds her doing the most natural thing in the world. She is sitting. That’s it. Just sitting. Nothing remarkable in and of itself. What makes it worth noting for us is the who, the where, and the what. It’s those three elements that merit the Bible’s notice and our attention.
Mary was sitting before Jesus. I will sit in front of a number of things and people today. The TV. A computer screen. My boss during the morning meeting. My fellow employess during lunch. My family during dinner later this evening. Worthy or not they will all receive my attention for a brief period of time. By sitting down I have made a choice. What I place before me when I am sitting says much about my priorities. My energy has become fixed on the thing or person in front of me. Mary made a choice. Her attention, her energy was fixed on the person of Jesus. The who of her sitting said everything about what was important to her.
Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet. In terms of the culture of the Bible Mary had intentionally positioned herself at the place of discipleship. In Biblical times the student (i.e. the disciple) sat at the teacher’s feet. It was the best place to learn. Mary’s where reveals her heart. Mary was willing to learn. She was open to instruction, open to correction. She recognized that before her was the One who alone possessed all wisdom and knowledge. She was sitting in a place where she could learn.
Mary was listening to Jesus’ words. Learning has no value if you are learning the wrong things. Too many people are listening to the wrong voices. Mary was listening to the One whose very words are spirit and life. Envision the scene. She is listening to the very God who had created everything through the agency of His spoken Word. Imagine the impact and effect as the words of Christ resounded through her spirit. What she was doing was a reflection of her understanding. When God speaks we would all do well to listen.
The lesson here should be obvious. Most of us are just too busy these days. Our schedules are overly filled. Our pace is way beyond frantic. We barely have time most days to sit at all. From sunrise to sunset we dash through our day at breakneck speed. The real tragedy is that for many people the one area that most suffers is their relationship with the Lord. I want to encourage you to take (“make” is the more accurate word for some of us) some time this week to just sit. Sit before the Lord. Sit at His feet with an open heart and a teachable spirit. Sit and listen to His words. Stop running. Stop rushing. Stop pushing. Just take a seat.