HUMAN BEING, OR HUMAN DOING?
AN AMAZING FACT: Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is the equivalent elevation gain of climbing Mt. Everest 16 times.
Completed in 1937, the Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia and follows the Appalachian Mountains over 2,180 miles through 14 states, ending in Maine. Benton Mackaye conceived of a trail connecting a series of farming camps along the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, between the highest points in the north (Mt. Washington in New Hampshire) and south (Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina). He envisioned the trail as a refuge from industrialization, where people could commune with nature. Signs marking the Appalachian Trail today read, “For those who seek fellowship with the wilderness.”
Making time for such fellowship isn’t easy in our go-go-go culture. America was founded by people who strove for more than their birthplace offered. From the pilgrims that landed at Plimoth Plantation to the immigrants that arrive today, Americans want more. And we work hard to get it.
So most of us can identify with Martha (Luke 10:38–42). Busily preparing dinner for Jesus, Martha noticed her sister Mary lounging at Jesus’ feet. “Lord,” she demanded, “don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” But Jesus gently reminded Martha that work must be balanced with downtime.
Like us, Martha was a human “doing”—preferring to work for Jesus than just be with Him. We very easily become so consumed by what we’re doing that we neglect communion with Who we’re doing it for. Ellen White, a Christian author, put it this way: “We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God.” May you learn to be a human being, not a human doing.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: Luke 10:41But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42