Martha, Martha — Losing Sight of that One Thing


I wish I could say I have this Mary thing down pat. I don’t, but I’m really trying. Trying to carve out time – every single day – for what’s truly important. Trying to live more focused on the people surrounding me rather than the things distracting me.

Because I’m task oriented, this doesn’t come naturally for me. I can always, always find something that needs doing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself – and my kids – “always make the best use of your time.” What I didn’t realize was that often – in my busyness – I was doing the opposite. I was failing at what truly mattered: spending time alone with God and making time for those special people He placed in my life.

My mom often tells me, “It’ll be there when you get back” and I jokingly reply, “yes, that’s the problem.” Regardless of how much, or how little, time we have available, we always manage to fill it – often to overflowing –  with something. Sometimes we fill it with the right things; others times not. Either way there is always more to do than there is time to do it.

Martha’s dilemma mirrored this. With her beautiful servant’s heart, she willingly and graciously opened her home to Jesus.   As the hostess, she set out to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for her guest. But in the process of doing so, she lost sight of what was most important – making herself, not just her stuff, available.

She missed the point. Just as I have so many times.

Our lives should be less about doing and more about being.

I wonder how she felt when He gently rebuked her?

Was she offended? Was she embarrassed? Did her eyes well up with tears?  Did she try to persuade Him to see her side? Or did she simply surrender, knowing He was right; realizing He knew what was best?

I believe Martha learned a valuable lesson that day. I hope each of us will also take to heart the tender, thoughtful words Jesus shared with her. 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 away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NLT)



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