Find the One Thing
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41
No doubt about it, moving entails hundreds of details. It can be exhausting for sure. Remembering where you put what’s been unpacked, finding new stores and what you need in those stores, changing your address; the list goes on and on. It’s enough to make a grown person want to sit down and weep. It’s certainly a challenge not to become anxious and troubled about all the details required to get settled into a new place and routine.
Martha is hustling about, handling all the details required for this dinner party while Mary sits and listens to Jesus speak. Who wouldn’t be upset and frustrated under similar circumstances? This is not a put down by Jesus about organizing, cooking, cleaning, serving, and hosting. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that those vital tasks are secondary to the primary task of taking care of ourselves and our relationship with our Creator.
We each have our own preferred ways of nurturing our spiritual lives. Soul care is not a one-size-fits-all situation. What is a one-size-fits-all situation is our universal need to find and utilize whatever habits and methods work best for our individual, unique personalities.
When I move I look for outdoor places where I can hear birds and indoor places to read and reflect. Once I’ve identified these places I start to feel at home, settled, and calmer. The boxes won’t unpack themselves. Chances are I won’t remember for a while where I put the contents of all the boxes I have unpacked. I know eventually it will all come together. The whole process seems to go better when I remember to give it a rest once in a while to go listen to birds or read a good book.
Each one of us has a different way of achieving the one thing that is needful. I once checked in on a relative who was two days into a new apartment. Unpacked boxes were piled everywhere. She was baking cookies. Baking was the one thing that helped her feel in control of the chaos all around.
I have another friend whose top priority is setting up a sewing space. Sewing is a great stress reducer for her. Another friend starts to feel resettled when his books are organized in neat rows in bookshelves. Those books have been constant companions through many moves.
Once you know what your “one thing” is, take time to engage in it. I promise you, the boxes won’t go away until you’re ready to deal with them again.
Guideline # 5 for Relocating
Know what it takes to help you feel calm and in control of your situation and focus on establishing that one thing in the new location.