In this our final “Women Together Lifting and Serving One Another” reflection, I’d like to share highlights from a poignant, timely and powerful message delivered by our featured preacher during Thursday evening worship, the Reverend Marie Onwubuariri.
Taken from the familiar “Mary and Martha” text, Luke 10:38-42, Reverend Onwubuariri creatively spoke to us from the subject, “The Super Woman Takes a Seat.”
I will not try to re-preach her message, but rather share a few highlights that spoke volumes to we “superwomen” in ministry that need to take a seat…
Rev. Marie shared that she had an “ah-ha” moment after participating in a covenant group of other Asian women, studying Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak. She realized that she suffered from the “Martha Syndrome,” busy, busy, busy doing ministry but burning out.
Parker Palmer says the following about vocation…
What a long time it can take to become the person one
has always been! How often in the process we mask ourselves
in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and
shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep
identity--the true self within every human being that is the
seed of authentic vocation…
Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just
beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I
already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice "out
there" calling me to become something I am not. It comes
from a voice "in here" calling me to be the person I was born
to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.
Often, we are so busy reaching, striving, doing, working – being “superwoman,” taking care of parents, husband, children, sisters, friends, foes, colleagues, congregation etc., that we miss out on our true vocation – what we were born to be. Rev. Marie discovered this as she participated in the “clearness committee process.” Simply put, the clearness committee is a concept taken from the Quakers.
A person seeking clearness asks for a committee to be formed. The committee, together with the person first sits in silence. Out of the silence, the focus person explains about what he or she is seeking clearness. The role of the other committee members is not to give advice or counsel, but to ask questions in the midst of a silent atmosphere of worship that may help the person find clarity.
For Rev. Marie, clarity came as she realized that her culture, relationships and theology helped to shape her superwoman mentality. If she was going to be true to her calling, her vocation, the superwoman had to take a seat. Like Martha, Rev. Marie came face to face with Jesus’ words, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42but one thing is necessary…
We must center ourselves, take a seat and listen for the one thing, another way to reach deeper and develop a stronger relationship with the ONE.
Superwoman, take a seat!
Are you suffering from the “superwoman syndrome?” Are you so busy serving, doing, going, preparing, being the perfectionist, crossing every “I” and dotting every “T” that you are ignoring the “one thing that is needed” - a deeper relationship with the LORD? We’d like to hear from you. Take a moment, post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In faith, hope and perseverance,