If you grew up around the church at all, you’ve probably heard the story of Mary and Martha, found in Luke 10:38-42. This story has been on my heart for a couple of weeks now, and it is so clear why: I am a Martha. Mary and Martha were sisters, and their brother was Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. In this particular instance, Martha welcome Jesus into their home when he entered their village, Bethany. Mary realized how precious this time was and soaked it up, sitting at the Lord’s feet (literally!!) and hearing all that He had to stay. Martha, on the other hand, spent her time doing this and that. Verse 40 tells us she was “distracted with much serving.” She gets fed up with doing it all alone, with Mary not doing what Martha believes to be her share. She gets so frustrated with it that she asks Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” I can almost hear the soft laugh in Jesus’ voice and see Him gently shake His head as He replies: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Martha didn’t get it, but Mary did.
I get so caught up in doing. If you know me at all, you know that it is pretty much impossible for me to sit still. I’m no good at relaxing for any length of time and always have to be moving. Now, I am really good at being lazy and unproductive…but that’s another story. Basically, I’m always on the move. If you were to see me on campus, you’d probably think I could join an Olympic speed walking team. I’m always on a mission, walking fast back and forth between meetings and classes and more meetings. I don’t stop. With this, I also have a heart for service. I love to serve others in any way that I can. Just ask my roommate; really the only thing she gets upset with me for is that I do the dishes too often (why yes, I am the best roommate in the world…just kidding!).
Serving people is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a biblical thing (1 Peter 4:10). But it is so important to not get distracted in our serving, to lose sight of the reason why we’re (or at least why we should be) serving in the first place: the grace of Jesus Christ. We should be serving to reflect the ultimate service and sacrifice illustrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He is our example and standard.
Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that [He is] God.” I honestly don’t do that nearly enough. I read James 1:22 and see to be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer and think I’m good to go. In Craig Groeschel’s book Weird (don’t worry, a whole post about this book coming soon =) ), he writes that he was once given the task of simply sitting still for five minutes. No problem solving, no making lists, no anything. He thought it was easy. Until he tried it. I don’t think I could do it either. I far too often forget the importance of sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing from Him, learning from Him, being still in Him…like Mary was. She knew it was important and necessary. I, instead, act like Martha; always looking for something to do, looking for a way to serve, instead of sitting attentively at my Savior’s feet, waiting and listening for what He says.
Praise the Lord for unwavering Grace and Love and not just second and third chances but an infinite number of chances. Praise Him for helping us recognize our sin and giving us the tools and resources, guidance and encouragement to overcome those sins.
Humbled more and more to be a part of His Plan every day….