From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director

The Scriptures are so good at depicting Jesus' friends Martha and Mary that most of us are confident we understand who these women were. Martha was a "do-er" - she loved to achieve, coordinate, serve, and get things done. Mary was a "be-er" - she loved to learn, think, ponder, and live in the moment.

Although many people achieve a balance between doing and being (humans are more complicated than my simple analogy here), some of us line up with either Martha or Mary. If you know me for any length of time, you'll figure out that I'm a Martha. I'm task-oriented, fast-moving, and I usually have an agenda. I like to know what I am supposed to do and get things accomplished. There's no way grass can grow under my feet! All my life I have wished to change that about myself. I wish I was better at abandoning my tasks to help people, better at living in the moment, better at asking what we should think rather than what we should do.

God is moving me from striving to thriving. Apart from him, the change would not be possible. As he patiently teaches me, I grow in my ability to thrive. Some of my lessons include:

  1. When something seems to demand action, I need to stop and pray. My goal is to avoid moving into action ahead of the Lord, and to wait and watch as he unfolds his plan for me.
  2. The only way to thrive is to take myself out of the center of my plans and pray myself into the center of God's plans. This pretty much shoots a hole out of my agendas.
  3. When I do steps 1 and 2, there is always peace. God provides joy even in the midst of pain and chaos, but it requires waiting and surrendering.

Being a Mary will never be natural to me, but I am enjoying my adventures into her world. When I take time to thrive in the presence of God, I am better able to receive and give love as my striving pace slows down a bit.

I wanted to share this with you because you may relate to it. Your student at George Fox may relate to it as well. The end of the academic year can get pretty crazy, and it is approaching quickly. I encourage you and your student to take time with God. Take time to revel in his love and watch as he unfolds his plans for your lives. Take time to live in the moment - being blessed and blessing others. That is my prayer for you today!

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations


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