“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
I am a Martha.
I want to say I am a Mary, but if I’m honest with myself, I realize I am a Martha – 100%.
Martha worries about cleaning the house when there’s company coming over.
Mary looks forward to the visit.
Martha spends all day cooking her best recipes for her guests.
Mary enjoys the meal with the holiest host.
Martha feels as though it’s her duty to tend to the dishes after the bellies are full.
Mary sits at the Lord’s feet and partakes in after-dinner conversation.
Martha thinks Mary is a flake – and a little lazy.
Mary thinks Martha is missing out on the best that life has to offer.
I am totally a Martha.
I love to have people over, but spend way too much time picking out the most impressive recipes, setting the mood with fantastic music and cleaning my house until I can’t stand anymore. When the guests arrive, I constantly wonder, “Are they enjoying themselves? Do I need to get refills? Is the music too loud? Does Joe really like that dish? Probably not – surely he’s just being polite. I’ll really have to try harder next time. Is the pie ready?”
If I were a Mary, I would stress less about what I cooked for dinner or played on the stereo and would worry more about whether I am soaking up every little bit of time with my guests that I could.
It took a couple really great friends to point this out to me.
My small group (and I do mean small – there’s only three of us!) met last night, and I began talking to them about life. Matt and I have a lot going on right now: infertility issues, job issues, ministry issues, life issues! I asked their opinion on something, and Mary Kathryn’s reply was, “What does God say when you pray about this?” I sheepishly answered, “Well, I haven’t really prayed about it so much.” WHAT? Why not? Seriously – when I stop and think about it, why haven’t I prayed about all of this? I want God to be the center of my life, right? Why wouldn’t I pray about HUGE life decisions?
I have been playing Martha for far too long. I make sure that we have all the resources we’ll need when we’re in ministry. I have some great quick and easy recipes in case we ever have church members stop in for dinner on a whim. I have spent a lot of time researching infertility and popping pills to help me ovulate. I spend every minute of every day running – trying to get everything in order. If I knew where we were moving in a few months, I’m sure I would have started scoping out what grocery stores to shop at, restaurants to try and hair salons to go to.
Not once have I taken time to just sit at my Lord’s feet and talk to Him about all that’s going on. I say that He’s the Lord of my life, but I have no idea what He wants my next steps to be. I know that this isn’t what He had in mind for our relationship!
Tonight I am going to take a little time just to be still and consult God on a few things. I pray that He forgives my Martha-ness…