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.”
Usually when pastors and teachers tell Martha’s story, they talk about how she was preparing supper for Jesus. And I always think to myself, “How can Jesus expect the disciples to go out with nothing and tell them the people will provide when He basically tells the woman trying to provide that it’s not important?” But this story says nothing about what tasks Martha is doing, only that she was “distracted by her many tasks”.
Boy, can I relate! When God gets pushed to the back burner it is always because I am “too busy”. I have been known to say (with annoying frequency, I’m sure) “There just aren’t enough hours in the day to pray, do a Bible study, cook, clean, exercise, read, spend quality time with my family, fix my hair, craft, and everything else!” All things, I’m sure you noticed, that I feel societal pressure to do when I’m not at work, rather than that I want to do. And when it comes time to set priorities, exercise gets the ax first, and Bible study usually goes next. So I can relate to Martha! That’s probably why I always ask all those questions in her defense. She’s not trying to be rude, she’s just got a lot to do. And she’s STRESSED about it!
But Jesus’s message is crystal clear. As important as all of that feels, it’s not even close to as important as our relationship with God. Drop everything to make time for Him, especially when you’re stressed. Life will still go on if I don’t meet my GoodReads goal, or if the house is a little messy, or if I don’t finish the baby’s scrapbook “on time” (whatever that even means). But it will most certainly NOT go on without Jesus.