React or respond?


I confess that I often react when I should respond. Especially when I feel someone is being critical. But this morning, as I was about to lift a heavy weight, a woman said, “Don’t think about it; just do it.” I wanted to explain the difference between thinking and worrying. Instead of reacting to her words, I walk to the bathroom, shut the door,  and pray. I calm myself down, so I can think clearly. Then I visualize myself successfully making the lift. And I come out of the bathroom and get it done. A reaction is instant, it’s instinctive, and it’s purely emotional. But, a response comes after considering the situation.

When thinking of a woman known for responding, Mary is the first one who comes to mind. When the angel Gabriel comes to speak with her, we read,

And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Luke:28-29 CSB

Her Response

Deeply troubled. We are told how Mary feels about Gabriel’s greeting, but she hasn’t spoken yet. That comes after Gabriel explains why he has come and what will happen.  Her response is to get clarification,

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” Luke 1:34 CSB

 She took the time to stop and consider what she was told and what she experienced. As I reflect on her response to Gabriel, it speaks of her desire to understand. She believed his words but wanted to know how it would happen.  After Gabriel answers her question, she responds,

“See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38 CSB

What Do We Learn From Mary?

The mother of our Lord teaches us to respond instead of reacting. She is a woman who treasures life’s experiences deep within her heart. She exemplifies the season’s purpose, to seek clarity from Him for our role in this season. What are you treasuring in your heart during this season?  During this third week of advent, let us focus on the three women still speaking to us from the book of Luke; Anna, Elizabeth, and Mary. May we ponder their stories and treasure each lesson deep within our hearts. 

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