Mary and Martha
I seem to always get in the pattern of being involved in too many things. This is the one lesson I refuse to learn. I somehow agree to do as many things to give me a solid 10-15 hour days of business, 6 days a week, and usually I do okay for a while, and then after a few months I just completely crash. This happened a few weeks ago. I was overwhelmed with 3 jobs and a retreat and orchestra and interviews and trying to keep a social life, and I came home one night completely drained. I came across the story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha in the Bible, and conviction hit my heart.
Luke 10:38-42 – “Now as they went out on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him to her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 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. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one this is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Things to notice: Martha loved Jesus. Martha was cleaning the house for Jesus. But was this what Jesus desired at the time? No. And I personally apply it to my life in this way – so many days I choose to be Martha. I get caught up in so many things, and many things for God, and soon I slip into the works of God and forget God. I am guilty of minimizing my quiet times to do work on youth group stuff or get coffee with a friend. I am not saying that these are bad things, these are GOOD things in the eyes of the Lord, but He first desires us to just be with Him. This is the greater portion. I am trying to get in the habit of REALLY choosing Him first above everything else that goes on in my day. Sometimes that means I have to turn my friends down for hanging out. Sometimes that means I have to stay up an extra hour to pray and read the Bible. But even if that seems difficult, I realize then that still my vision of God is not clear. God is SO much better than anything, is He not? He is so much better than work, friends, Facebook, or anything else that distracts me during the day.
A practical picture in my mind that I do not in real life experience is this: I am not married, but I assume when I am married, if I see my husband throughout the day, I am going to talk to him, and at the end of the day, want to spend time with him and learn about his day. I would think that I would choose to talk to my husband over my work. Let’s assume all that is true. I also want to love God SO much more than my husband, so wouldn’t I want to make sure I spent a considerable amount of time with just God everyday?
My prayer for us as christians is that we would daily choose the greater portion, which is setting all else aside to just be with Jesus and learn from Him. The more I do this, the better I know Him, and the more I fall in love with Him, and the more I am transformed by His Spirit.