“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 38-42)
So which one are you: Martha or Mary? We tend to identify with one or the other. Martha is active; Mary is contemplative. Martha achieves; Mary appreciates.
The truth is nobody is all Martha or all Mary. The tensions between the two sisters are inside each of us. Your Martha part is active, achievement-oriented. Martha is a fussbudget — always busy, always striving. Your Mary part is thoughtful, meditative. Mary likes to sit and listen.
The danger is that Martha will dominate — anxious and distressed. No time to listen. No time to think. No time to pray. No time to be, because there is too much to do. What we have to bear in mind as we deal with the tension between our Mary part and our Martha part, is that Jesus defined the Mary part to be the better part.
Slow down. Be quiet. Be calm."Be still, and know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10).
EXODUS 32:15-24, 30-34 ● PSALM 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
● JOHN 11:19-27 ● LUKE 10:38-42