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.” (Luke 10:38-42)
Faith is choosing the right input. I have to admit that I would have done exactly what Martha did — ‘make a fuss’ and then grumble because nobody else was helping enough. Mary’s choice, instead, was to sit and listen. Her choice seems easier, but considering the challenging things that typically came out of Jesus’ mouth, in the long run I bet it was by far the more difficult choice. Martha was done once the meal was on the table, but Mary’s work — on herself, on what she needed to sacrifice in service to Jesus — was just beginning. In John 6, Jesus says, “The work of God is this: to believe…” What does Jesus mean by the phrase “will not be taken away”? I think Mary had grasped the opportunity to know Jesus, which is permanent, and Martha had chosen only to give him a temporary gift. I also need to be careful not to be “distracted by all the preparations” and realize the most important preparation for the work of God, is to be quiet and attentive “at the Lord’s feet listening.”
Lord, you came to Earth with work to do, as your follower I also have work ahead of me. But I need to make time and room in my life for you to speak to me — about how I need to change so you can use me to change the world. Today I will aggressively eliminate distractions so I can listen to you. Amen.