"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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"
I have read this passage many times, and I have heard many speak on it. I sort of haphazardly filed it away in my head as, "Good Lessons to Know but Not Think About," but didn't take it much to heart. The other day, however, I felt unexpectedly drawn to read this passage. While I was reading, Jesus stopped me in my tracks. I distinctly heard Jesus say (in His very gentle way), "Rachel, Rachel. You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."
It was a gentle rebuke, but a rebuke nonetheless. I immediately felt ashamed but lifted up at the same time -- my heart aching to do better but softened by the Lord's love for me.
"Yes, yes, Lord -- I know. I know. But how do I do it?
I want so much to be a Mary. I want so much to carve out time to be with my Lord. I want so much to have time carved out to be with others as well -- to open enough time in my schedule to see people at the drop of the hat.
But maybe it's more than that. Maybe it's more than just carving out time and making room in schedules. Because it wasn't as if Mary didn't have things she could have done -- there was plenty to do, for sure -- but instead, she put aside one thing for something else -- the "one thing" that was "needed." She knew what was really important and she didn't let a false sense of urgency dissuade her from that truth.
I want to be a Mary.
I want to sit at my Lord's feet when it's busy.
I want to sit at His feet when it's still.
I want to listen.
I want to open my home even when there's dirt on the floor and dishes in the sink.
I want others to know that they are more important to me than my to-do list.
But how? How do we do that when the to-do list still needs to get done, and we have a responsibility to complete it? How do we remain prudent with our jobs while having time for others and the Lord? How have you been able to balance such things in life?