“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” -Luke 10:38-42 ESV
Are you a Mary or a Martha? Those of us who have read this story know we are supposed to be like Mary in moments like these. We are supposed to prioritize listening to God and stop worrying about everything else that must get done. But those of us who are “Marthas” in life often say, “But the work has to get done! Who will do it if I don’t?” We feel the pull of work and get defensive that Jesus didn’t seem to appreciate what Martha was doing for her family.
Jesus wasn’t saying the work Martha was doing wasn’t important or valuable. He just said it wasn’t the most important thing at that time. Does your desire to get things done ever prevent you from connecting with the Father? Have you chosen the wrong thing at the wrong time? Martha chose busyness when it was time for slowness. Mary chose slowness at the right time.
How do you know you’re making the wrong choice in the moment? Like Martha, you’ll feel a sense of, “No one is working as hard as I am. Am I the only one who sees this stuff has to get done?” Instead of assuming you’re the only one seeing what’s important, assume you might be missing what’s important. Ask God to slow down the beat of your heart and check the frustration you’re feeling. Ask yourself if you’re seeking to work hard to move the kingdom forward or if you’re missing the kingdom because you’re moving forward.
Hard work and busyness aren’t bad when done at the right time with the right heart. Don’t allow work to rule your heart and drive you on toward the next thing; rule your work and tell it when to move forward and when to slow down.
In what area of your life do you need to slow down today and embrace slowness?
Author: Anne Bosarge