Walking Through Winter
Ed, my neighbor next door, came walking with me last week. I try to walk at the track at our arena in the winter. Ed has a sour opinion about walking, but he has extensive views on our winters. He tells everyone that our winter season is November through April. Those six winter months keep us half frozen. May through October is also a problem, because we have so little blood in us that we can’t fully thaw out then either. Spring, summer and fall, we each feed so many mosquitoes that our blood runs on empty. Yet, we half-frozen or half-thawed Saskatchewan people are the happiest people in the world. You have probably heard all this from Ed, himself.
Whether I’m half frozen or half thawed, it is great to be able to walk on the track at our arena. When Ed decided to come walking with me last week, he had two good reasons. One, it was free. Two, he wanted to see who goes walking. He really thinks walking in a big circle is silly and he says that it’s like chasing your tail. The day Ed came with me, he and I walked the track once. Then he spotted an arena worker he knows, so he had a chat with him rather than continuing walking. He did walk twice around the track after his chat, but then he was ready to quit. Not to worry though, there were a good number of people walking that day. Of course, Ed knew lots of them who were willing to stop walking and talk with him. He also tried out various seats to see where he could find the best view of the ice for a hockey game. He also used the pop machine, after bothering everyone in the arena for change. All in all, we were both happy as we left the arena.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make us happy. Sometimes, nothing will make us happy. This happened in the Bible with Martha who opened her home to Jesus and his disciples. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the feet of Jesus and listened to his teaching. Martha was consumed with the preparations for her guests. She came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” Jesus answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha’s heart was focused on impressing Jesus with her hospitality and she became the stressed-out hostess. She resented her sister for not helping her. Jesus pointed out that it was better for Mary to listen to him. Jesus wanted Martha to understand that he can only teach those willing to take the time to listen to him.
Do we get happiness for all our toil and anxious striving? Sometimes our striving gives us grief and sleepless nights. Do we strive to store up treasures and honors here on earth? Mary treasured listening to Jesus – that was where her heart found happiness. Is it the same for yours?