In the early days of Australian Church Women, our newsletter was called Women at Work. The following 1970s description of women at work reflected society’s expectations for the era, but the theme of the writer’s message remains current: Be still before the Lord and listen.
This message appeared in the November 1970 edition of the ACW newsletter:
‘Women at Work conjures up pictures of a great flurry as cuppas are served, dishwashing, floor polishing, ironing – oh, and so many often routine never-ending tasks. These are still to be done, but there are occasions when, instead of being the Marthas, the women of the Christian Church must be Marys. To stop and listen can be hard because it seems a waste of precious time; to stop and listen and appreciate is even harder because it demands understanding and a sensitive awareness of what is being said. To stop, listen, appreciate and then change the course of one’s life is desperately hard, for each of us is so sure that our little rut runs in the right direction.’
It is often pointed out that history is not linear – it is circular, and the world is turning once again through an all-encompassing global event. As the restrictions begin to ease from Australia’s Covid-19 lockdown, it is an opportunity to reassess the direction in which you were heading before the pandemic.
Do you need to hurry back onto that path? Instead, stop and be still before God and listen to His voice. Is God leading you to continue on that journey or does He want you to begin travelling in a new direction?
Let me leave you with a psalm found on the pages of the May 1972 Women at Work newsletter:
A Psalm for Busy People
The Lord is my pacesetter, I shall not rush
He makes me to stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness, which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency, through the calmness of mind,
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret,
for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance,
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity, by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility. My cup of joyous energy overflows. Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours, for I shall walk in the place of my Lord, and dwell in His house forever.
By Toki Miyashina, Japan
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