Distracted by Busy
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. Luke 10:41-42
I sometimes joke that I had kids simply so that I’d have someone to play in the snow with me. They’re growing up though, which means they’re getting too old for such things. That doesn’t stop me. I like playing in the snow, and so, I’m going to do it. I was happy then, as it snowed this week right before family came to town for the holiday weekend. Everyone wants to do what I want to do, right?
As family arrived from across the country, I was on my way outside to make snow piles (for everyone to play in). I said hi, headed out, and as I was getting my snow stuff on in the garage, I realized what I was doing. They’d driven through the night to be here, to spend time with us, and I was going out to do what I wanted to do. Apparently, no one else even wanted to play in the snow. After thinking about it for a minute, I took off my snow clothes, went back in, and spent time with family. As I sat there, laughing and playing cards, I thought about what I’d almost missed out on, by doing what I thought was important at the time.
This is where Martha found herself in today’s passage. In the story, Martha and her sister, Mary, hosted Jesus and company. Mary sat and listened to Jesus’ teaching, while Martha did all the kitchen work. Mary’s laziness bothered Martha who complained to Jesus. In response, Jesus explained that it was Martha who had it backwards. Martha thought the food and dishes were important, while Mary simply spent time with him.
This is the story of my life (not the doing dishes part). I’ve been so busy with what I think is important, that I’ve missed out on just spending time with God. I’ve gone years without getting up in the morning and praying. I’ve watched hundreds of hours of TV before bed without picking up my Bible.
It’s not that watching TV, doing dishes, or blowing snow are inherently bad things. It’s just that when I allow those things to rob from the truly important, I lose out. Daily then, my challenge is live for the truly important. In doing so, I pursue, and find, authentic life.
I did of course, eventually get to play in the snow.