Living Unrushed When Work Is Unfinished

by Christina Patterson May 30, 2022
“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” Luke 10:40 (ESV)

I grew discouraged as I put away the seemingly infinite amount of folded laundry, knowing there was already another load, ready to fold, in the dryer.

I’d promptly get to it after I put the groceries up, which I couldn’t do until I cleared the refrigerator to make room for said groceries.

The magnetic calendar on my refrigerator door reminded me of a project I’d put off for months and the endless list of other responsibilities awaiting my attention and holding hostage my hope for accomplishment.

I immediately felt like the list of tasks I needed to finish that week: undone.

If I can speed up, I thought to myself, I can get more done faster. However, I only ended up feeling like a hamster on a wheel, moving fast but getting nowhere. This rushed pace of life left me frustrated with my work, impatient with my family and restless in my thoughts that were more focused on what needed to get done than on my God, who would empower me to do it.

As busy women, it’s easy to think our worth is tied to our productivity and fall into the temptation to speed up our pace so we can get more done. This lie only leaves us empty and agitated with ourselves, those we love and even God.

When Jesus visited the house of Martha, in Luke 10, Martha was in a rush to get preparations together for His visit. I imagine her cleaning the house, cooking the meal and preparing the table, only to realize there was more to be done than there was time to do it.

In her rushed frustration, she accused her sister Mary of not helping and blamed Jesus for not holding her sister accountable.

“... ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” (Luke 10:40)

The same woman who had the heart to invite Jesus into her home allowed her own rushed pace to make her accuse her most honored Guest of not caring. The danger of a rushed life is that it hinders us from loving well because love is patient; it’s not in a hurry. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Like Martha, we often rush in an attempt to outrun the unfinished work always looming over our heads — because we believe unfinished work means we’re undone. But that’s not true. We find the truth in Jesus’ loving response to Martha’s hurried heart:

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV).

Jesus did not condemn Martha for her unfinished work but invited her to let go of the trap of rushing so that she could embrace what was more important.

The truth is, we have a choice. We don’t have to live rushed lives and accept overwhelmed hearts as a usual way of life. There will always be “many things” to worry about or do, but not all things are an emergency deserving of a rushed heart.

Jesus invites us to focus on one thing better than them all: Himself.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for never rushing me. As I face responsibilities and work each day, I pray for Your grace to cover me that I may always choose better by choosing You first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


No matter where you find yourself this summer, we’ve got a Bible study that fits any schedule, can be taken to any location and can be done at any time of the day. Our next Online Bible Study, Fighting Words: 100 Days of Speaking Truth into the Darkness by Ellie Holcomb, starts tomorrow! Join us as we pre-decide how we're going to spend our summer: in God’s Word. This study is simple, efficient and full of life-changing Truth you can take with you wherever you go. Sign up for free and join us tomorrow!




Connect with Christina Patterson on her website or YouTube channel for videos to grow your faith, help you learn God’s Word and encourage your soul. Take her “Spiritual Seasons” quiz for personalized encouragement catered to the season of life you find yourself in today.


Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (ESV)

It’s not always our to-do lists that keep us from God — sometimes changing our perspective on the unfinished work before us can change our hearts. What thoughts about getting work done might you need to release to embrace a more grace-paced life?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2022 by Christina Patterson. All rights reserved.

What We Believe

If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.

Join the Conversation