Wednesday, February 15

I am a Martha

My name is Martha. You might call me a "Type A" personality. I like things done a certain way. I like things in order. I am something of a "neat freak". My home is seldom dirty. I enjoy entertaining guests, but when I do, I want my closets organized, a scrumptious meal that turned out perfectly and everything shining.  I constantly strive to be the "hostess-with-the-mostess".

My sister Mary and I, entertain guests at our home quite frequently. It is, however, generally referred to as MY home. After all, I am the one who does everything. And so was the case with a recent visitor. A man of God we were both ecstatic to have in our home was coming to visit. Everything had to be perfect. I planned an elaborate meal, and made sure everything was spic and span. We were overcome with excitement when he arrived! His teachings were being circulated around town by various ones who had been to hear him speak. But, to be one-on-one, and speak with him personally... Just think of it! This was one person I HAD to impress. It's very important in my culture that a woman show the utmost hospitality to a stranger. As the day arrived, it was this thought exactly that rushed through my mind when I noticed my sister sitting at the feet of our guest. I thought she was disgracing herself. Did it not occur to her to help me serve this man? I forced a smile and I hinted at how I was trying to get the meal on the table. She did not rise. Ugh! How could she be so selfish as to put all the work on me?! In the past, I had frequently fought the idea that she was a tad bit lazy. But now... now I was sure of it. Here we were entertaining the most important guest possible, and she was not at all interested in feeding him- a weary traveler.

By now, you must know... I am speaking of Jesus. I watched from the next room as she listened to him speaking- her eyes wide with interest. What were they saying? I was missing it! That was it. I wanted him to reprimand her for not fulfilling her duties. I wanted him to appreciate my "servant's spirit". I rushed into the room and said rather pointedly, "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me."

His response was not what I expected. "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things." He replied. "But, one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Tears welled up in my eyes. He was right. I was troubled about many things. I was anxious. In my head there was an endless to-do list. I was neglecting the very reason why I was excited to see Jesus: to hear his words. From the moment he had arrived I had been hustling and bustling around trying to make everything perfect. And yet, the things with which I busied myself were all... just temporal. This house... these THINGS could be taken away from me. Mary had chosen to invest her time in something that could not. His gaze as he spoke those words to me was not one of judgement. I could see his compassion. I could feel his love for me. He wanted me to see what was important. He wanted me to understand the difference between earthly things and eternal things. Jesus saw my heart and wanted me to know I was missing out on something very important.

Have you ever been too busy to talk to Jesus? Have you ever used my excuse: that you were busy serving? Do you volunteer for every church project, try to fill every day on your calendar, and spend precious little time in communion with our Lord? Martha's personality seems prone to 'doing', while Mary's seems prone to 'being'. In faith, those are 2 sides of the same coin. Some of you resonate with Mary's personality. I, beyond any shadow of a doubt, resonate with Martha's. The first time I heard the above rendition of this story when I was 15, tears streamed down my face. I knew God was talking to my heart. He loves for me to serve others, but He knows that I get "cumbered" in much serving just as Martha did. I typically feel as if I am behind schedule before my day ever begins. God probably feels like He needs to tie me down for me to spend some quiet time with Him! The Lord is frequently reminding me to take deep breaths, soak in my surroundings, enjoy the moment I'm currently in... and sit at His feet.

Because I am a Martha, and I forget.

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