Monday, December 5, 2011

Martha Moments

But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:40-42 NLT)

I am totally a Martha.  It's one of the things I know about myself that I really want to change.  My Martha-tendencies tend to flare up most at the holidays, where there are lots of things to do and very little time to do them.  I get so distracted by the little details of party planning and food preparation that I forget what, or whom, I'm doing the work for.  I'm one of those, "Well, somebody has to do it!" kind of people.  Then I get resentful when I'm stuck doing the work and don't get to enjoy the party.

Maddie and I were listing to an Adventures in Odyssey CD about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus on the way to school the other day.  And I was humbled.  By a kids radio program.  This particular episode covered the events in 1st century Bethany from just before to just after Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.  It gave a fictionalized account of Martha's frustration with preparing food for guests and disciples while Jesus stayed and taught at their home, her conflicted faith about Jesus' role as messiah, and in the end, her ultimate conviction that Jesus was the Savior of the World.

I could have easily inserted myself into the story in Martha's place.  I understood who she was and how she was feeling.  I was able to see the error in her attitude, but I saw her attitude in my heart.  The episode's lesson was, "Doing things for Jesus isn't the same as being with him." So I'm adding a change of attitude to my daily prayer intentions.

So, who are you more like?  Mary, who knew who Jesus was and put things in proper priority, or Martha, who couldn't see Jesus amidst the bustle of daily life?   Are we ever truly spending time with Jesus, or just working around Him?  In this Advent time of preparation, it's easy to get caught up in details.  Let's all try to not only prepare our hearts and homes, but also find time to spend time each day with Jesus.

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