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 few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
A few years back, when my daughter Paige insisted on having an Alice In Wonderland birthday party, I knew we had to make her dreams become a reality. We went all out on the decorations, tea party, music, and games. A few special guests even made an appearance (i.e. My wife dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and me decked out like The Mad Hatter).
The day finally arrived for the party. Kids and parents started to come….and come…and come. Before we knew it, our house became filled to the brim. We didn’t have enough seats, so people were sitting on top of one another. The snack table was utterly decimated. And, words don’t even do justice in describing the decimal level that comes from children hopped up on sugary treats. We went into panic mode, just trying to ensure everyone was having a good time. We raced from one demand to another.
Then it happened…DING DONG…. “um, Tony…I think the cops are here.” Sure enough, a “friendly” neighbor had called the police on our preschooler blowout. For whatever reason, the policeman didn’t chuckle when I opened the door in my Mad Hatter attire and said, “Have I gone mad?”
Eventually, the cops left and we got things under control. Exhausted and worn out, my wife and I laid on the couch only to have Paige come up, give us a big hug and say, “Daddy and Mommy, that was the best party ever!” Was it? Because I missed it. The chaos and madness happening all around me caused me to lose sight of what was truly important: celebrating this moment with our friends and family.
Life comes us at us pretty quick. The noise and the busyness can lead us to lose perspective on our priorities. We can get so swept up in the demands placed on us that we forget our purpose. The squeaky wheel grabs our attention. We fear that everything won’t be absolutely perfect, so we never allow ourselves to be present in the midst of the chaos. The intimacy we crave with God and with others loses out to surface level surviving.
We are more Martha and not so much Mary. Many of us are exhausted, overwhelmed, resentful and weary. We are moving quickly, but getting nowhere fast. So today, hit pause. Have a moment. Take a deep breath. Check your connection level with your Creator. Be honest about where you might be physically present, but emotionally and spiritually distant with Him and others.
The only way for us to survive the chaos is to stay connected. By being still, we are displaying trust and exhibiting humility. Sitting at His feet is what gives us sure footing during the difficult circumstances we’ll face. The only “very important date” we are late for is with the ONE who knows and cares about our heart.
- Why are you reluctant to be still and let God speak to your heart?
- How can you slow down, be present and see what truly matters?
God, all too often I allow my circumstances to dictate how connected I feel with You. Help me to just be still. May I carve out moments in my day just to reflect on Your love and the hope I have in You. Allow the time I spend with You to shape my perspective about the world around me. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.