As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42
I read this story and I think to myself, “How does Martha not realize that spending time with Jesus while he is in her home is more important than worrying about the house?” And then I sadly realize that I do the same thing each and every day.
If only I could get ahead in school, then I can spend time with Jesus. If only I could keep my house cleaner, then I could rest easier. I’ll just watch one more episode on Netflix, then I’ll read my Bible. I don’t have the time to do my devotional. I can’t go to church because I have plans with a friend…and the list of things I daily put before the Lord goes on and on and on. I quickly let these distractions take my focus away from the one thing that will give me true rest…because I am Martha.
I worry and I stress out and I often find myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do. My relationship with Christ is often the first thing I put on the back-burner as I try to find time for everything in my seemingly busy schedule. But honestly, my issue is not time, but rather my simple decision to put things before my relationship with Jesus.
Jesus may not physically walk through my door and demand that I stop worrying about all the details..but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want me to lay down the distractions and just rest in his presence.
We don’t have Jesus physically walking around with us, but we do have the Holy Spirit living within us, surrounding us, and walking with us each and every day. As a follower of Christ, it’s embarrassing how easily I forget this. I get caught up in the day-to-day distractions and the never ending to-do list found in the calendar I have grown to call “My Second Bible” (awful I know), that I lose sight of the incredible power of the Holy Spirit waiting for me to take the time to truly live in it.
I’ve read this passage many times before, but each time it seems to shatter the view I have of my life. To me, this is a passage that bears repeating each and every time I catch myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do and giving them priority over my faith.
My prayer, for myself and for anyone else willing to acknowledge their Martha-state-of-mind, is that we lay down the distractions and just be with Jesus.
I pray we stop placing emphasis on the daily struggles of keeping everything perfectly in place, and allow ourselves to simply sit at the feet of the only One that can give us peace and listen to what he has to share with us.
I pray that we find ourselves intentionally spending time with Jesus, and not just doing so when we have “free time.”
I pray we shake off the worry and the stress that hold us back from joyfully loving and praising the God who created us.
I pray that we remember that we are graciously saved, wholly forgiven, and unconditionally loved, because nothing is more important and more inspiring than our being gifted eternal life.
I pray that we grow to become the Mary that Jesus spoke of when he said “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” (v. 42)