"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."
Food for Thought: "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..."
I can totally relate to Martha. She has a house full of people, and not just any people, special people... Jesus and his disciples. She is trying to prepare for their visit, striving to be the best hostess she can be and she's feeling the pressure of not being able to get it all done. (Reminds me of preparing for guests during the holidays). In her frustration it clicks... "My sister can should be helping me! If she would stop being so lazy and come over here I wouldn't be so stressed out!" Meanwhile, she storms out of the kitchen ( or where ever she was) to see Mary relaxing at the feet of Jesus as he speaks. I can feel inside me Martha's blood pressure rising. "I am going crazy trying to prepare for all these people to make them happy and Mary is just sitting on the floor!" A mix of jealously and anger I'm sure. And then she snaps (as we all do when trying to pretend we've got natural Martha Stewart like instincts), she goes right to Jesus to plead her case. I can see the wheels in her head turning now... "fine Mary isn't going to help well wait until I tell Jesus about this one... I am doing all this for him and she is choosing to be lazy." And THEN the unlikely response "Martha, Martha...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."
AND her jaw drops. Talk about humbling huh?! Haven't we all had days like that? We just want sympathy, we're stressed and need help, we're frustrated and just as the pressure makes us want to explode b/c of all we're doing (to serve others and God no less!) we're humbled by God pointing out our wrong motives. Martha wanted to receive attention for all she was doing but Mary received it because of the attention she gave Jesus. Martha wanted Jesus to scold Mary for her lack of help but instead he pointed out Martha's need to be humbled.
I love Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in your way everlasting." In Martha-like times I like to say this verse to myself. It helps give me the right perspective. When we're frustrated it's easy to blame someone else and difficult to see we need an attitude check.
Let's make it our prayer today to surrender our Martha-like ways of worry and stress and at times jealousy. And let's instead pray to be like Mary choosing what is better. To put Christ first in everything we do. To focus on him in times of frustration. To choose what is indeed better.