It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and over this time there have been some really interesting articles, interviews and conversations about what it means. Yet for as much as there efforts to raise awareness, it seems sometimes like the ignorance is pervasive.
The state of the mind is so complex and so brilliant and yet so vulnerable and fragile that it does not take that much to set the mind off-kilter. It is refreshing and challenging to hear of the various issues that affect the mind and has an impact on behaviour and relationships.
Take anxiety for example.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
A good indicator of suffering from poor mental health is the inability to truly rest. To truly sit and be still. The mind races with things to do, things that were done and things yet to be done. Before long the mind is taken up with so many things that could have been done and should have been done that anxiety overwhelms. This can happen to such a degree that we fail to rest by just being still.
Martha’s concerns appear legitimate. She was the one that opened up the house to this great healer and teacher. She was the one that sought to be a good host to the Rabbi. Any good host needs to ensure that everything’s in place, but where’s her sister? It’s not fair at all.
Jesus cuts through the busyness of the mind of Martha. He states clearly that when the Prince of Peace is around, there is only one thing that we need to be concerned about. When we discover that, we can tap into something that can put our minds at rest.
Spending time just sitting at the feet of Jesus enables us to realise that we can experience perfect peace when we keep our minds stayed on Him. Spending time just sitting at the feet of Jesus opens up the mind to the Kingdom of righteousness, joy and peace.
There are troubled minds around us today that know the pains of depression, anxiety and grief. There are troubled minds captured in cycles of addiction, hyperactivity and obsessive disorders. Though we are grateful for pharmaceutical and psychological developments and strategies, all of these were never designed to ever improve on the one source of a healed and restored mind.
This is discovered when our minds are concerned with the one thing that truly matters.
Found by just sitting …
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden