Looking at Luke:10
Martha, Martha,” Jesus lovingly chides, saying her name a second time because she’s spinning in so many directions, “you are worried and distracted about many things, but only one thing is needed.”
Worried. Distracted. Upset. That comes not from many things, but from the lie we believe that if we can control many things everything will be okay by our doing. But it will never be.
Are we then left only vainly hoping for happy days? Do we simply play the odds that today will be better than yesterday? After all, if this happiness of security is out of our control, than isn’t it all up to chance? Not in our Savior’s world. Jesus has it in his control, kept safely for us. Mary knew this, or I should say, believed this, and it’s what made all the difference.
“Mary has chosen what is better,” Jesus promises, “and it will not be taken away from her.” There’s a play on words here. In the original Greek language, Jesus literally says to Martha, “Mary has chosen the better portion,” using a word that refers to a serving of food. In other words, he’s saying to Martha, “Martha, you have some delightful foods, but preparing them is making you miss out on the better delight of what I’ve prepared for you. Come, sit down with Mary. Eat my bread of life and stop worrying. Drink my living water and stop being upset.” Martha’s was fast food. Mary’s was fine dining. Other differences:
· Martha opened her home to Jesus. Mary opened her heart.
· Martha prepared dutifully. Mary pondered diligently.
· Martha couldn’t handle everything and wanted Mary’s help while Mary couldn’t handle everything and wanted Jesus’ help.
· Martha thought Jesus didn’t care, Mary knew he did.
· Martha was busy with her own work,Mary was blessed with Jesus’ words.
· Martha was upset because of many things, Mary was peacefully secure because of one thing.
· Martha wanted to do many things for Jesus and did some of them while Mary wanted one thing from Jesus and got it all.
Here’s the bottom line: is the lazy listening of Mary really better than the distracted doing of Martha? Jesus leaves us no doubt that, yes it is. Our fast-paced world of pagers, Palm Pilots, interstates, and Internet, a world screaming at us to do more things for more people but in the same twenty-four hour day, makes it difficult for us to see the importance of resting from work and productivity and achievement.
Sometimes I’m like that, aren’t you? And, like Mary, we feel frustrated and burned out and ask, “Lord, don’t you care?” and he answers, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed … and it will not be taken away.”
The good news is that Jesus loves us enough to forgive our foolish efforts to be secure and happy in ourselves by making everything okay on our own. The better news is that Jesus loves us too much to let us stay that way.
PRAYER:I’m busy, Jesus. Very busy. Lots of responsibilities. I’m behind on my to-do list. And there are errands to run. I wish people would just get out of my way and let me catch up. Wait. That’s not what you want from your followers, is it? That’s not how you treated people. You certainly didn’t pass me by but called me into your kingdom and took me by the hand to be your follower, your disciple. Help me slow down, Jesus. Let me stop and trust that everything will be okay if I put busyness aside, just for a little bit, and meditate on your words and works. When you speak to me through your word, open my ears and my heart. Change me. Inspire me. Amen.