Cursed are the anxieties that choke the word and blind us to glory and true joy. Even the anxieties over things legitimate in themselves (Luke 10:40-42).

They frequently surround us and constantly demand our attention. The meal needs to be made, the car needs cleaning, the garage is out of control. Let’s not talk about the laundry room. Are you ever going to read that parenting book? You’re not saving enough for retirement! When are you going to complete that course? Have you updated your will yet? Has the child finished his chores? Oh for goodness’ sake, look at the bathroom!

Legitimate things all of them, and a thousand others like them. None of them is wrong to do in themselves. In fact, most of them need to be done at some point. And yet any one of them, or the compounding pressure of all of them, can produce acts of faithlessness because they make us anxious and troubled and they siphon off our fleeting time, our fleeting life, in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16).

Beware, “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word” (Matthew 13:22). Cares choke the word. And when we’re choking, we can’t see the glory the word reveals. We might know about glorious things, but if knowing doesn’t produce seeing, it does us little good.

So what do you do when you feel like you’re choking? You do what Mary did in Luke 10:39. You carve out time to set the demanding tasks aside and sit at Jesus’ feet and listen and look.

But you’re not going to feel like it. You’ll feel like getting the stuff done. Getting stuff done will promise you relief, but don’t believe it. It won’t deliver much. More stuff is lining up behind the stuff currently shouting at you. Stuff will steal your life if you let it.

Real relief is in seeing real glory. Because in seeing the “good portion” (Luke 10:42) of the glory of Jesus, in really hearing his refreshing word, your priorities shift. You see your life in eternal perspective. The voices of demanding stuff diminish in volume and compulsion.