Are you a Martha or a Mary?
At the Home of Martha and Mary: Luke 10:38-42
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I have been confronted with this story not once, not twice, but three times in the last week and a half. My first encounter was while listening to a podcast by Joel Osteen, my second was at church last week, and the third was in a book that was sent to me from a dear friend. Every time I read the words of Martha and Mary's story there was no doubt in my mind which sister I was. I am a Martha. Plain and simple. I spend my time thinking on things that don't need to be thought about. I find myself constantly straightening up or picking up toys only for them to be thrown about the floor within the hour. Last week, I even spent my Tuesday night cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, sweeping) the whole nine yards as my parents, husband, and Owen sat downstairs playing and giggling. It got me to thinking. Why? Why do I keep myself busy with the less important things in life? I think in one way it's an escape for me and a coping mechanism to deal with my anxiety. If I'm constantly busy, than I don't find myself ruminating. But, the part of the story that keeps sticking out to me more than Martha busying herself, and more than Martha asking Jesus to tell her sister to help her, are the simple words that Jesus responds with, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one."
Only one. One. What would it look like to keep God first place all the time? What if we fixed our thoughts and actions on him? I truly believe that Jesus could have easily been speaking to me when he spoke those words to Martha. He's telling me that my priorities aren't in line with what's really important.
Where have I been putting God? I pray daily, I listen to Christian podcasts, I read the Bible, but is He first place? No. The simple most honest answer is no. I have been desperately seeking peace in my life for so long. You know that peace that is beyond understanding. Well, that peace can only be given by Him. He knows my deepest desires for true peace and I think He's telling me how.
I'm not there yet, but everyday I'm going to keep working on it. Friends, who do you identify with? Is it Martha or Mary? If it's Martha, don't beat yourself up about it. Show yourself grace and know that God loves you and I just the same. He just wants to show us how to live an even better life here on earth. I'd like to challenge you to think on this scripture and think about what the Lord is telling you. It may not be the same as what I think He is telling me, but there is a message there.
If you're a Mary, share, share with us. Tell us how you keep God first place!
Blessings to you and your family!