Choosing First Things

Mary and Martha…two sisters approach life in two different ways.

Here is the story.  Jesus visits Mary and Martha.  Martha is a take charge kind of woman.  She greets Jesus, invites him into the home, and immediately sets herself to serving him and others.  Her sister Mary, sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to him talk.  Not surprisingly, Martha is exasperated.  She approaches Jesus and asks him to intervene…”tell that sister of mine to help!”

We can see the tension in Martha’s tone.  She is weighed down with burdens.  Her request was probably preceded by a lengthy internal conversation.  Nobody is helping and she is all alone in her work.  It isn’t fair…

Jesus lovingly chides her.  He tells her that Mary has made the better choice.  The wise choice is to spend time with the Lord.

Here is good news.  Do you identify with Martha?  Martha made a choice to be distracted and therefore can make a choice to not be distracted.  The picture above reminds us of the number of things that vie for our attention.  None of them compare to Jesus.  The distraction could be work, education, music or something that sounds a little more sophisticated then social media.

So why do we do this to ourselves, deliberately choose distractions?  It is not our purpose to fully explore this question now but it does have its place.  At one level, it is mere folly.  At another level, it may well be that we are so in debt (the word debt is used liberally here, not necessarily literally) that distractions serve us like alcohol.  They blunt the realities of a life out of control.

Give it up.  Quiet your soul.  Submit.  Leave off with these lesser things.  Choose differently and be delivered from the tyranny of what demands your attention.  Distractions literally plunder the soul and deprive it of oxygen.  It simply is not true that this thing must have your attention.  Spinning many plates is not a sign of prowess.  It is a sign of foolishness.  Let it die.

In its place, allow the life of our Lord to infiltrate you.  Breathe in his truth and presence.  Be calm, be nourished.  Live.  Be balanced and from him, move forward to tend to your day.

This message comes from Luke 10:38-42. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

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