If Jesus was coming to your house for dinner, would you be frantic about the details or would you be excited to hear his stories? I’m sure Martha was both, but her focus on details kept her from enjoying all that her sister was clearly experiencing.
For me, I would want everything to be perfect, just like Martha. I would only later feel regret I wasted so much time stirring the soup or setting the table that I missed even one story from Jesus. What about you?
As you evaluate yourself, remember it is not Mary vs. Martha. We should be Mary + Martha.
We often get busy in our lives. In an earlier season, I remember driving the kids from this activity to that activity, many times being double, or triple booked. It takes a village sometimes to share in all the transportation issues. Maybe earlier than that, it was being consumed with studies and school activities. Now, in retirement, we are still busy with learning and building our own new business, travel and entertaining. Where is Jesus in the busyness of our lives?
This applies especially in our faith journey. Are we so focused on learning and making sure we understand the Bible? Perhaps we are following a reading guide and are destined to read the entire Bible through in a year. This is not a bad thing. I’ve done it, too. But with all of that pressure and rigidity for completion, are we missing out on the relationship piece?
Who is Jesus to you? Do you have conversations with him like you would your best friend? When something great happens in your life – who do you rush to tell…rush to thank?
We can be “Bible smart” but lack a relationship with Jesus. We can be impressed by someone who knows a lot of Scripture. Having a toolbox full of memorized Scripture is important (you never know when you’ll need to pull out just the right “tool” for a situation). But to be like Mary, we need to sit and relish our time with Jesus. We need to open our hearts and minds to the message he has for us.
I’m working hard to be more Mary-like in my approach to devotion time. I’ve set aside time to be fed and grow the relationship, shutting out all other distractions. Sometimes that’s hard with loving dogs who are easily distracted by the happenings on the street (people or horses walking by can be especially exciting).
Jesus was clear when he told Martha, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about.” That was spending time with Jesus. Jesus was visiting them that day, for that meal. Mary was ready to drop everything for that opportunity. We, today, have many more opportunities to spend with Jesus, and we should be intentional about making them happen. The dishes and laundry will wait.
What is keeping you from your quiet time with Jesus? When we are like Mary, we don’t have a care in the world. Our focus is on Jesus and what his message is for us. He brings peace. He gives power. He loves us completely.
Let’s pray. Lord forgive me when I scurry about with tasks that keep me from spending more time with you. You know my heart has good intentions, but I need to be more like Mary and just set everything aside. You deserve my attention. I will only benefit from time spent with you. May I stand against Satan and his trickery. I pray that you will use me to further your kingdom. Restore my passion and draw me close. In Jesus’ name. Amen.