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Being a Mary in a Martha world

Being a Mary in a Martha world

written by Myra Braswell July 16, 2019

BUSY! That word defined means “having a great deal to do” or “to keep occupied”. Just for a moment take a closer look at some of the synonyms: involved, absorbed, engrossed, immersed, preoccupied, distracted, diverted, concern; and on the list goes. This word BUSY is indicative of someone who is so wrapped up in an activity that they are given over to it. Busyness has captivated and consumed them to the point they may be missing something of even greater importance! Today’s lifestyle is fast-paced, hurried, and chaotic. The demands on our time and schedule are great. There is so much competing for our attention that priorities can often and easily become misaligned. Busyness can be evidenced all around us and in us. Busyness is a thief and a robber of our time, while cleverly disguising itself as productivity.

The trap called busyness

There is an old cliché’ that says, “Making much to-do about nothing” meaning that we make such a fuss over things that really are not all that important. We expend much energy on the temporary rather than focusing on the eternal. In Proverbs 14:1 (AMP) we find these words, “The wise woman builds her house (on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives), But the foolish one (who lacks spiritual insight) tears it down with her own hands (by
ignoring godly principles).” Let me ask you, are you a wise woman? What are we setting our hands to do (busying ourselves with) that may be preoccupying, distracting, or diverting our attention from spiritual things? Are we investing the same energy in making our spiritual/eternal house the best it can be as we do our earthly/temporary house?

I have been reminded that Jesus addressed this very issue of busyness. It is a trap that we as women, wives, and mothers often fall into! We think it somehow distinguishes us as proficient and talented to say we can “multi-task” and juggle all that “a day in the life of being female” has to throw at us. But take a look at Luke 10:38-42 where the story of Jesus’ visit with Mary and Martha unfolds. Scripture tells us that a woman named Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. (vs. 38) Martha, wanting everything to be “just right” for her special guest, was preoccupied with much
busyness or “doing”. She was caught up in the details of getting it all perfectly put together: the meal, the house, the guest list. The presentation had to be right! Her ambitious efforts were not without well-meaning and purpose. She wanted Jesus to have the very best of accommodations!

In her efforts to provide the best, Martha’s busyness consumed her and she became focused on the doing and not on the guest. She became frustrated that her sister, Mary, did not join her in her efforts to prepare the perfect reception. Instead, Mary went and sat down with Jesus to visit and spend time with Him. She wanted to make the most of the time she had. Her focus was fellowship rather than frivolity. Although Martha wanted Jesus to chide Mary for not participating in the preparations, instead He redirected Martha’s focus. He said to her, (vs. 41 – 42) “Martha, Martha, thou are careful and troubled about many things; But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Open up the door

In being reminded of this story this past week, I could just as easily have put my name where Martha’s is. I imagine there are times you probably could do the same. May I share what Jesus so sweetly spoke to my heart? At the beginning of the story, we learn that Martha “opened her door to receive Jesus” (vs.38). Jesus longs to be invited in to fellowship with each of us. He desires to spend time with you and me, to nurture a growing friendship. He longs for a closeness that doesn’t prompt the “putting on of airs” or pretense. He arrives at the door of our lives early each morning as the sun gently casts its shimmering rays through the window, as the chirping of birds greets our waking moments with song, as we breathe in the richness of life He has graciously granted for yet another day, and He waits to be invited in!

Before busyness comes and pushes its way into our mind and crowds Him out, He is there. Open the door! Eagerly and early, invite Him to come in and be present in your day! Fellowship with Him! Oh, I know there is so much to do. Your schedule is already packed with carpools, appointments, job demands, grocery shopping, daycare, taking the dog to the vet, and a visit to see Aunt Sally who’s in the hospital. But in all of the busyness, Jesus longs to redirect our focus!
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) says this, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Our focus should be Jesus! And look, there is a joy that comes when we are seated in fellowship with Him!

Choose wisely

Just as Jesus reminded Martha (vs.42) that Mary had made the better choice, He is reminding us to choose wisely. We become so consumed with life, even well-meaning things, that we miss His presence. Do you find yourself “worried and upset about many things” as Martha did? (vs.41) If so, exchange your busyness for basking in His presence, your chaos for the stillness and quiet He provides an anxious soul, your weariness for the sweet refreshing found in His Word, and your worry for blessed peace found in prayerful conversation. In so doing, we are being wise “builders” of our homes and they become fortified and strong. We must be intentional in choosing Jesus or the world and busyness will choose for us. Before we are even aware of it the day will have come to a close, the sun will have set on our day and Jesus will have been crowded out completely.

In His divine creation plan, we are allotted the hours that make up our day. It is up to us to make them count! Written in my mother’s Bible can be found these words, “You have plenty of time; you are just too busy!” This is a quote from my then preschool aged brother that profoundly impacted my parent’s lives and choices! In the same manner, Jesus challenges us “to choose the better part” and make wise use of our time. No; not by staying busy, not in being a “doer”, not in frivolity. Those are the very things that “tear down” our house! Beloved daughter, listen! There is a rustling at the door! Jesus is waiting to be invited in! Don’t be too busy to sit awhile! Just be still, and know HIM! Psalm 46:10 “you need only to be still! Amen!

Read also: A date with Jesus

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