Martha had enough. Her sister Mary did it again, left her to do all the work while she just sat there. Martha was distracted by all the preparations. And though the very source of Joy was with her, she was focused on what she had to do.
“But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
But how can life really be about one thing? Without Martha, no food would have been served.
On a slow morning, sitting on a dock facing the intracoastal waterway in Wilmington, NC, I’m once again pondering how to be a Mary without neglecting my responsibilities.
The mid-morning sun warms the steady breeze as it massages my face. I look across the gray blue waterway and see white caps ushering the tide to my right. The rhythmic waves lap upon the shore only interrupted by the rubbing of the floating docks along the pile driven wooden poles, the squawking of sea birds and the distant sound of a dog’s bark.
I have sought my own answers to this quandary for years, but this morning it all seems clear. No profound answers are given, only His strong hand outstretched; inviting me to give Him my concerns, so I can be with Him. Together, He will show me how to live a Mary life in a Martha world.
My cares are safely sealed, waiting for His commands to be revealed.
Two light yellow butterflies dart across the rolling tide. Above the water flow, there is a lime green strip of land below a line of emerald trees, couching white, multi-storied buildings in the distance. Above the tree line, a cloudless sky rises in deeper shades of pastel blue towards the heavens.
Wow! This is joy, this trusting, this resting, this enjoying His presence. Is this abiding? Is this what Jesus means when He tells me to remain in His love?
So, what now? I could regret millions of distracted moments in my past when I labored without a thought of His nearness.
But I won’t.
I will go forth with a deeper understanding of what Jesus means when he tells me not to worry, but to seek His business, His Kingdom, His supremacy in my life.
All that other stuff, the things I seem to focus on, what I’ll eat and what I’ll wear and what I’ll drink – He’s got that. He and I have more important things to do, like enjoying this moment together.
And by the way, when I am doing that (Enjoying moments of life with Him) I will naturally love the people I meet along the way. When, like Mary, I’m in tune with my Lord’s nearness, when I’m yielding to His Indwelling Spirit, His love flows through me to others. My number one concern now is to love others as He has loved me. This starts with resting in His love.
Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”
“Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others.” John Piper
In His Presence is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11)