Welcome to Something Beautiful.
I’ve spent too much time living a frantic, stressful, and overwhelmed life.
But an over-full life is not the way to life in its fullness.
When I step back and really look at my life, I don’t want to see a jumbled mess with haphazard stitches, scraggly knots and no discernable purpose or design. I want it to be something beautiful.
I want to live a slow enough life that I both see and savor the beautiful things surrounding me.
I want to live an intentional life. Selective enough in my activities to live a life of purpose.
In these desires, I am so drawn to Mary of Bethany, how she chose to sit at Jesus’ feet. When her sister challenged her choice, Jesus affirmed Mary, telling all of us that choosing relationship with Him and a life of discipleship is the most important thing we can do. Later, in the final week of Jesus’ life, we see the fruit of Mary’s choice. Her time learning from Him convinced her that Jesus was not only Teacher and Friend, but the long-awaited Messiah, and in one extravagant act she symbolically anointed Jesus for burial and honored him as the rightful King.
Jesus was reclining at a meal in her hometown when Mary entered with a jar of very expensive, fragrant oil. She anointed his head, the fragrance of the precious oils and the act itself reminiscent of the anointing of Israel’s Kings. She washed his feet with the oil. The disciples reproached Mary for her extravagant waste, for a year’s lost wages wafting through the room.
But Jesus defended her. “She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Something beautiful! “She has anointed my body for burial.” With only days remaining before his crucifixion, her act of service and devotion bore much significance. “She did what she could.” We are not called to do everything, but we are called to fulfill the purposes God has established for us.
So how do we find, let alone live, this life of purpose?
At His feet like Mary. When pursuing Jesus is our greatest desire, when we are willing to set aside all our frantic doings and just BE with Him, He will guide our hearts to engage in the opportunities that He as purposed for us. Because a beautiful life isn’t about stacking up achievements and accomplishments, even ones that serve others or advance God’s kingdom. A beautiful life is one lived in step with God’s Spirit, that He might take the tangled mess of my best efforts and my failures, my strengths and my inadequacies, and weave it into something beautiful.
Whenever you read this blog, I hope your heart will be encouraged to draw closer, drink in His Words, and live in your calling. To let your being with Jesus direct your doing, that your life, like Mary’s, might be something beautiful.
Spend some time in the word and check out these passages to read more about the scenes that inspired these thoughts: Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8; Mark 10:32-45; Luke 10: 38-42.
Read more about Mary, my own background story, and choosing being before doing.