Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 11:15 am
Imagine that Jesus has come to your house for a visit. He’s staying for dinner and you have so much work ahead of you. You’re dying to make everything perfect for Him so you station yourself in the kitchen, cooking Him a feast, frantically cleaning, and serving – being the best host to the One you call King because He deserves the absolute best you have to give. What an overwhelming thought – serving The Savior face to face! And in our own home!
This happened to Martha. She opened her home and welcomed Jesus to come relax in her living room. During His visit Martha became what I imagine to be dramatically involved in her role as servant. I picture her running to and fro in what might resemble a sensational Olympic event. Martha only desired the best for Jesus and worked herself weary to make Him feel comfortable and welcome.
What made all the work even more stressful was that Mary, Martha’s sister, wasn’t lifting a finger to help.
Think on that for a second. You have all this work set out before you and you feel like everything has to be perfect, but the others in the room aren’t doing anything to assist even though you’ve made it completely obvious that there are many chores to be done. They’re just visiting, laughing, talking, and enjoying the company. I know from experience that it would infuriate me!
I have the feeling that Martha was in shock when Mary didn’t see the need to assist her with the work. So, Martha, in what I guess to be an exasperated tone, asked Jesus to please tell Mary to get up and help her.
Jesus basically told Martha to let Mary be.
Martha, in all her good intentions was forgetting something. She was so busy being all dramatic that she was totally missing out on the joy of having her Savior visit. Instead of sitting down and resting a while with her King she busied herself with the details, trying to be perfect, trying to be pleasing, trying to do everything at once. The unique opportunity to learn from The Teacher was slipping right through her hands and she couldn’t even see it.
Meanwhile, Mary was soaking it up. No, she wasn’t being lazy, she was simply living in the moment – a unique moment that she felt blessed to be a part of.
Reading this story last night, I got to thinking about how many years it took me to get what it meant. I spent years like Martha, “anxious and troubled about many things”. However, since I’ve made more of an effort to be a Mary and chose the good portion, I have found a life that is much more delightful to live. Not always easier, but definitely more delightful.
Slowing down has helped me hear what The Lord has to tell me; the lessons He teaches are easier to learn while I’m calm. And lately, I’m finding so much joy at just sitting at the Savior’s feet and basking in the glory that He Is.