“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’”
Recently, to quiet my mind before I fall asleep at night, I’ve been reading the book “Who Does He Say You Are?” written by Colleen C. Mitchell. And wow, this book has changed my perspective on so many things, and Colleen has so many good things to say that I HAD to share them with you. And as you probably guessed from the passage above, the other week one of the chapters was on Martha and Mary. Between the two, I am pretty certain that I am a Martha. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to just “be” with the Lord, but my mind and heart is so focused on other things around me, such as my day’s to-do list or what things I can DO for the Lord instead of just sitting in prayer and conversation with Him. And I don’t know if this has been your experience with this passage, but for myself I always thought that being a Martha was a bad thing. But friends, IT IS NOT. It wasn’t wrong for Martha to be prepping, preparing, and doing the tasks that she needed to. All Jesus wanted, was for Martha to be aware of His presence and content with what was being offered in the moment. Colleen writes, “What Jesus wants for you and me has very little to do with whether we sit or stand, serve the supper or contemplate at his feet. What he wants for us is to be so keenly aware of His divine presence with us that whatever we do takes on the nature of the extraordinary, and we live in a sense of wild gratitude.”
I don’t know about you, but hearing that gave me so much PEACE and FREEDOM. I had always thought that I had to make myself be more like Mary and less like Martha. I thought that I had to make myself be something that I was not, that I had to fit a mold to be preferred to by Jesus. But that’s not what our Jesus wants for us. Colleen writes later in the chapter, “Jesus isn’t looking for a world of Marys, friend, any more than he is looking for a world of Marthas. He is looking for a world full of [people] who know who they are and who it is they are called to serve, [people] who are content because they know he doesn’t play favorites.” What He wants is for us to be able to have “contentment that is not dependent on who we are but on who he is.”
Friends, when Jesus said,
| “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her”, |
all he wanted was for Martha to live that moment in contentment. To be able to cook, prep and do her tasks while still living in intimacy with the Lord. Imagine Martha not rushing from task to task, hurried and anxious about getting things done, but rather, taking her time. Not rushing, but listening to Jesus speak as she did her tasks. CONTENT. That is what He wanted. And that is what He wants from us.
So the next time you find yourself overly anxious about tasks ahead of you and checking off all the things on the to-do list, take a minute and breathe in the Lord’s peace. Remember to invite Him into those moments and to live in those moments with Him, in contentment. That is when the natural becomes the supernatural and we are able to “live in a sense of wild gratitude”.