Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World

26/365 days of blogging.

Have you ever tried to do it all?

I have, I do, and I probably always will.   Being a woman requires more stamina, more creativity, and more wisdom than I ever dreamed as a young girl.  And that’s not just true for today’s busy women.  It has always been the case.  It gives new meaning to the phrase from Forrest Gump “I’ve worn lots of shoes.”

Having a Mary heart in a Martha world is something we have all no doubt thought about.  Deep down we all have a calling, to learn more about and to know and love God more intimately.  To truly know Jesus Christ and the walk with Him daily is something I long for on a daily basis.  You’re not after more head knowledge – it is heart knowledge you are seeking.

Something holds us back though.  Exhausted, you wonder how to find the strength at times to continue on.  Nurturing our spiritual lives seems more like a duty at times, adding one more thing to our life of responsibilities that are already overflowing.

A Tale of Two Sisters

We’ve all felt that struggle.  We want to worship like Mary, but the Martha inside keeps bossing us around.  Here’s a refresher course in case you’ve forgotten the story.  It’s found in Luke.  It’s the talk of two sisters.  It’s the tale of you and me.

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His  word.  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.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42)

The first time I read the story of Mary and Martha in the bible, I thought that Mary was being very selfish.  After all I relate to Martha more than Mary.  I am the type of person that has to make sure everything is done just right.  I think they call that a perfectionist.

She was quite a woman…Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart all rolled into one.  She was the perfect hostess that could cook a huge meal at the drop of a hat, and then runs out to the flower garden and picks flowers and arranges them perfectly on the table and manages to sew new curtains so the sun shines through just right for her Lord.

I grew up in a house with three older brothers.  I was the youngest and the ONLY girl.  I understand how frustrated Martha must have been when she finally found Mary just “sitting around”  I understand the anger she must have felt at the sight of her sibling sitting at the Master’s feet in the living room.  There was still so much to do, and there sat Mary, happy as a lark, butting her nose in where it obviously didn’t belong, chatting with the men, totally uncaring of what Martha was trying to do for the Lord in the other room.

Mary had about all she could take.  She decided to do a little tattle telling and get Mary in some trouble.  She informs Jesus that Mary is being lazy and there is much to do and that her sister is being inconsiderate and not helping her in the kitchen.

Now me being the do gooder that I am the first thing I thought when I read this passage, was “you mean I have to do more than I am doing?”  Well there was just no way!  How could I possibly do more than I am doing.  I have something going on everyday for the Lord.  How could I possibly find time to do more than I am doing?

Mary and Martha both loved Jesus.  On this occasion they were both serving him.  But Martha thought Mary’s style of serving was inferior to hers.  She didn’t realized that in her desire to serve, she was actually neglecting her guest.

Jesus did not blame Martha for being concerned about household chores.  He was only asking her to set priorities.  It is possible for service to Christ to degenerate into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God.

Are you so busy doing things for Jesus that you’re not spending any time WITH Him?  Don’t let your service become self serving.

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