I remember feeling as though my life was complete and I finally had it all. I was in a state of utter happiness and had never felt so blessed. I had an incredibly loving family, genuine friends, a great career, a new car, a place to myself that I could finally call home, I was in love again, I was healthy, I was sincerely happy, finances were right, I was able to serve and help other individuals in need, I felt as though I knew God and finally had established a good relationship with him, all and all, I would have defined myself as successful.
The more God blessed me along the way, the more grateful and passionate I grew about the things in my life that I was blessed with. I began dedicating quality time with my family and friends, I put in extra work hours around the clock simply because I loved my job, I planned road trips and outings just so I could experience driving around in my car, I enjoyed my place so I spent leisure time cooking in my kitchen, decorating, or simply relaxing on my own terms without the worries of someone stepping in to interrupt my me time, I began getting involved with various organizations to help give back to communities and individuals, etc.
This past week I remember reading my daily devotional which told the story of how Indian ruler Shah Jahan came to having the Taj Mahal tomb built for his wife after she passed away. “He placed her casket in the middle of a parcel of land, and construction literally began around it. But several years into the venture, his grief for his wife gave way to his passion for the project. One day while he was surveying the site, he reportedly stumbled over a wooden box and had it thrown out. It was months before he realized it was his wife’s casket. The original purpose of the memorial- got lost in the details of construction!”
The daily devotional goes on to point out how the moral of the story is to be careful not to misplace your values. Once I read this devotional, it was as if I had an ah-ha-moment. I finally realized why not just me, but so many people in the world encounter moments or phases in their lives where they feel incomplete as though there is a missing piece to the puzzle, a major disconnection, or a void of some sort: misplaced values.
I stopped reading my bible as much, my prayers to God were no longer consistent, etc. I had become so busy spending time with everything that God had blessed me with leaving out the most important thing which was my relationship with God.
We live in a world where it is so easy for us to inappropriately prioritize unnecessary things because like the Indian ruler Shah or myself, we get caught up letting things that we are passionate about consume our lives. I am here on Resurrection Sunday to remind you of the importance in never misplacing your values.
“38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ 41 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, 42 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 10:38-42 NIV).”
What a blessing for Martha and Mary to have the privilege of being in the presence of God. Mary took advantage of that privilege by sitting at the Lord’s feet and basking in his holy presence. Martha (similar to Shah and myself), misplaced her values. Instead of actually prioritizing her time spent with the Lord while he was at her home, she chose to prepare things.
The next time you are feeling incomplete as though there is a missing piece to the puzzle, a major disconnection, or a void of some sort, I want you to take a moment to pause and reflect on where your relationship with God is at. Are you basking in his holy presence like Mary or are you misplacing your values like Martha?
You are our protector, our provider, our healer, our teacher, our director, our deliverer, our savior, our courage, our peace, our joy, our King, and our ruler. You are our strength in our weaknesses and you complete our entire being, for this and so much more, we give you Glory, Honor, and Praise. We love you, we need you, we adore you, we place no one and nothing above you God. Thank you for your sacrifices just for us to live. Thank you for never forsaking us. We come to you praying for alignment so that our values are never misplaced and we never forget the importance in spending quality time with you. We pray for an everlasting desire to always want to bask in your presence in the way that Mary did when she sat at your feet so that you can continuously fill us up and make us whole. We pray for a yearning to always stay connected to you throughout our daily lives no matter how many distractions that may come our way. Continue to strengthen us through our weaknesses Lord, for we understand that your power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). In Jesus name we pray, Amen.