Mary and Martha were two sisters in the Bible and Jesus was on the way to their home. Do you resonate with either one of them? Honestly sometimes for me I am Mary and sometimes a Martha.
Martha was busy. I can be busy, busy, busy, but I also know how to relax and there are times I am lazy. Martha was a worrier, and oh I am too when company is coming. Is this you too wanting everything to be special for them? Oh you should see me getting ready for company. I am frantic – I clean baseboards, flower beds, cabinets, floors, closets, plan a menu and cook up until the moment they walk in, and then I am finishing up the food and on and on never sitting down until after the dishes are done. I know me and how I act when family or friends come. What would I do if I knew Jesus was coming to my house? Now that scares me, but I realize He is here every day seeing my messes and my hurrying, and those times I am lazy and should be cleaning and organizing.
I would say in years past I have been more of a Martha. I worked, raised a family, went to college, all kinds of jobs at church. I liked “to do” lists. Oh yes I did and I felt so satisfied and delighted to mark a task off my list. Today even though I still have “to do” lists if that list is not finished, I have learned there is no need to worry about it – it is just a list, just a plan. I have learned it is o.k. if something important like being with people I love comes up. I honestly strive to keep a good balance between getting things done and loving people. My to-do list should not get in the way of relationships. If it does, something is wrong!
Are you busy with too many things (raising children, working outside the home, church, sports, caring for elderly parents), and are those things keeping you so busy that you do not even have time to spend in God’s word? I was that woman, I was Martha just like many other Christians, who believe that their busyness is important. I was so exhausted all the time I did not have time to do much more than read a few scriptures or a daily devotion – but really I was not studying them or breaking them down to see how they could speak to me if I studied. Mary sit at Jesus’ feet and focused on him. How my life has changed when I started really focusing on a scripture or two.
I believe there is a lesson to be learned from these women and that is balance – a little Mary and a little Martha. I need to know when to work and when to sit at Jesus’ feet and Jesus has finally taught me that.
It makes me laugh sometimes when I look at my list and nothing is crossed off, and I know it is okay. I trust that it is God working to make me what He would have me be and I just have to stop and say “THANK YOU JESUS” for allowing me to be a blessing today. My to-do list that day may not have included a telephone call or text to run to help a loved one, to take a meal to someone coming home from the hospital, to bake something for a new neighbor, to go with my husband to take a freezer of ice cream to neighbors (one of which is in bed with alzheimers), to rush to the hospital to be with hurting friends or family, to meet friends for lunch, to go to a funeral home to love on friends who are hurting deeply, to jump in the car on Sunday afternoon and take my mother-in-law for a ice cream treat. That unplanned thing not on my to-do list is what is important in my life and to my Lord.
I know how hard it is to change “old habits”. I started small, and so can you. I started in an on-line Bible study (OBS) because of flexibility at Melissa Taylor.Org (now Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies) where I can go on-line 24/7 with women all over the World.
Another small step was sitting aside a specific time. Make your time with Him before your feet hit the floor, or do like me and I’ve made my time as soon as my husband leaves after breakfast with my cup of coffee reading my Bible, or do it when your feet hit the bed in the evening, at lunch at work, in the car pool lines picking up the kids. Make time with Jesus a priority.
I spend my first few hours each morning on those days I am not subbing. Before I do any “Martha” house cleaning I am “Mary” first, “Martha” second, and somedays I would loe to be Mary all day in my pajamas.