Being a Mary in a Martha World

What would we think about a bride who scurries around for months perfecting every detail of her wedding — the flowers in the bouquet, the beautiful dress, the guest list, the party favors, the type of candle for the unity candle — but never spends time with her future groom?  And if she does spend time with him, it’s a quick phone call or a rushed dinner from a drive thru.  The bride, sadly, is lost in preparing for a wedding, but shows little concern for the man she purportedly loves.

Luke 10:38-42 (NKJV)

38 Now it happened as they went that He [Jesus] entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

I know I tend to be a Martha, and I’ll be the first to admit it.  As of this writing, I’m involved in three areas of service in church.   Now, I’m going to put down a big fat disclaimer and say that I love serving in church.  Serving isn’t wrong, but it shouldn’t be the end all and be all of a Christian.  The Westminster Catechism’s first question is “What is the chief end of man?”  The answer, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

“Enjoy Him forever.”  Perhaps it is the soft pressure of the Holy Spirit upon my heart, but I feel tears attempting to gather in my eyes at that statement.  Enjoy Him forever.  Like a friend in whom you can confide your secrets, like a Father to whom you can run to in trouble, or your spouse and lover whose presence you desire with every fiber of your being and the joy of conversation with them.

A few weeks ago, I was at my church four days in a row, and over the weekend too.  What dedication!  Surely I must be winning points in heaven!  Actually, that just means I’m living my Martha life “being troubled about many things.”  Unfortunately, reading the Bible is still an afterthought of my day, somewhere stuck in between flossing and plugging in my cell phone to charge.  And it shouldn’t be.  Reading the Bible — sitting at the feet of Christ, as it were — should be the highlight of my day.  I should enjoy the Scriptures as my chance to look into the face of God.  From my time with Him, I should not only be refreshed for more service in His name, I should know more about Him, I should be full of the knowledge of His will.   The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119.  It’s 176 verses of David delighting in the law, precepts, commands, and judgments of God.  It is the cry of the man after God’s own heart singing his praise for the joy of learning about his Savior.

Mary, that simple woman of Bethany, was a woman after God’s own heart.  Desiring those few moments at Jesus feet.  Joyfully spending time with her Bridegroom.

One thought on “Being a Mary in a Martha World

  1. Outstanding post, Olive. There are lots of us “Marthas” out there that long to be more “Mary” like. I’m one of them. It is my prayer that we both find the balance that will be most pleasing to God.

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