“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
I am a Martha. I am a busybody who seems to be in constant motion. Sometimes I am like a whirlwind leaving behind a leftover trail of dust, or a raging torrent rushing out the door to the next destination. Occasionally I am a calm stream flowing easily from one task into the next while serving those around me.
I have a desire to serve others above myself. That’s what I was taught, and that must be how God made me right? I mean my mode of operation is to be expected since I have a family to raise, a home to maintain, student’s work to grade, articles to write. Flat out I am busy.
Yet, at times I can become easily frustrated with the people around me who are unable to maintain the same pace as myself. They may be resting peacefully in whatever they are doing all the while my mind is thinking they should be doing what I am doing. Why are they not helping! Can’t the see I could use an extra hand? This past weekend, my pastor’s words stuck hard in my head. Am I putting more value into being busy and if so, does it cause me to judge those around me who are not serving at an equal value to myself?
Martha was like this. God gives us a wonderful glimpse into the life this busybody, in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus has come to eat with Martha and her sister Mary. Martha is zooming around the kitchen trying to prepare possibly the ideal meal for Jesus and she notices her sister Mary, simply resting comfortable and cozy at the feet of Jesus.
“Jesus, seriously! You don’t even care that Mary has left me with all the work to get done. Just look at her lounging around over there. Tell her to get off her boombosity and help a little!”
“Martha. Martha. Really. Stop worrying so much if the meal is too salty or if the tablecloth is not the right size or if the napkins are not folded correctly. Relax. Your sister is doing the right thing. She is spending quality time with me. I am not going to tell her to help you right now because that part is not important. What is important is enjoying the moment with me.”
Even in my modern paraphrasing you can understand the point Jesus is trying to make. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of trying to serve is causing us to look past what is truly significant; spending time with people and listening to their stories.
How about you? Are you like Martha? Maybe you are thinking, I’m not really like that. I mean I truly want to serve and help people. That’s what God has called me to do. Yet, have you ever tried to manipulate the situation to get a little extra hand? You know, twist words around so things could go a little smoother or to get someone to actually help because they thought you could use they extra assistance all the while you just simply wanted them to be doing the same work you were doing?
Tomorrow we will take another look at Marta in John 11:17-35 and how she manipulates the situation just to get her sister to move.