Americans must be the busiest people on earth. We rush from one task to another with very little time to stop and enjoy the great prosperity that we have. Calendars are packed from pre-dawn to midnight. It is a “Martha” world with very little opportunity for “Mary” moments. Perhaps, it is time to build a pause into our hectic schedules.
Martha was always in the middle of doing something, and the Lord’s visit was a tremendous motivator (Luke 10:38-42). After all, there would surely have been much to do. Putting ourselves in her shoes helps us understand. We would want the house to be spotless, dinner to be perfect and only the finest china would do. Hustle, hustle, hustle. Make sure it is all flawless, and that sister! All she’s doing is just sitting there.
Well, that and listening, giving quiet attention to what her Lord was saying. His words meant more to her than anything else. And us? Where are we in this picture? Distracted by serving? Too busy to give full attention to the word of the Lord? Martha or Mary? This should not be an either/or situation. A balanced life makes time for both.
Mary is frequently found at the feet of Jesus. It is a beautiful portrait of one who adores and respects Him. Were there other things to do? Of course. She could have been helping Martha with the preparations, but she chose not to. Instead, she stopped. How often do we simply cease from all the activities that tug at us to spend time in adoration of the Lord? To hear Him, to really hear Him?
We probably won’t receive a lot of encouragement to do so. Martha was critical. She even complained to Jesus about it, accusing Him of not caring about her workload. She let a lot of things interfere with her devotion. Mary was different. Deeply devoted people always are. They often appear to be inactive. The truth is, according to Jesus, that Mary had chosen the good part. That would never be taken away.
If ever there was a person with the potential to be too busy for quiet times, it was Jesus. Healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry, butting heads with the religious establishment and loving the unlovable tend to draw crowds. Everyone needs something, and His compassion combined with His miraculous powers attracted people…lots and lots of people. And they wanted to enthrone Him. He would indeed ascend to a throne, but not that way. In the midst of His eternal mission, with all there was to do, He pursued a quiet time (John 6:15).
Times come when we are forced to be busy, but we must also squeeze in quiet moments at the feet of Jesus. A “Mary” moment in a “Martha” world that we might listen and contemplate the wonder of the Lord. Come let us adore Him.