Updated: Aug 30
One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Luke, chapter 10. It's the story of Mary and Martha and how they each responded to having Jesus as a guest in their home. You'll recall that Martha was cooking up a storm. Pots and pans were flying left and right as she fixed dinner for Jesus and his buddies. In the meantime her sister Mary, was in the room with the guys, sitting at the Jesus' feet, taking it all in. This was unheard of in Jesus' day, but He didn't censor Mary, He encouraged her. Jesus was always pro-women. Still is.
Well, Martha wasn't too happy about any of it. She thought Mary should be helping her with the baklava in the kitchen, so she finally went in and told Jesus how she felt. (Interesting that she complained to Jesus, not Mary). Anyway, my guess is she was quite surprised by Jesus' response, "My dear Martha…you're concerned about so many things, when only one thing matters."
Essentially He was saying, “Back up the truck Martha. Take a chill pill and relax! I'm fine with a PB&J sandwich. Life’s too short. Don't put the meal ahead of me. Your sister gets that, and that's good." Martha was off-kilter, unbalanced...she didn’t know how to prioritize her spiritual life. She didn’t know how to be still...with Jesus. Her priorities were the problem, not her pasta. She wasn’t keeping the main thing...the main thing. Ever done that? Yep, me too.
Here are seven lessons we can take from the story: 1. “We've got to remember to stop... because we have to stop to remember!” So says Judith Shulevitz. I don’t know who Judith Shulevitz is...but I think she’s pretty sharp.
2. Jesus never asks anything from us that should keep us from listening to Him. If it does, we’ve misunderstood, or mismanaged His request.
3) HE'S the prize. Everything else comes second. When we truly understand that, all else pales in significance. Life isn't a goal; it's a gift. Enjoy it.
4) If it’s worth doing, it may be worth doing simply. We spend way too much time complicating things. Comprendo?
5) Uncontrolled emotions spoil the party for everybody. Best to work on ourselves before working on others.
6) “Rest doesn’t happen in a 24/7 world unless you plan for it.” So says Dr. Matthew Sleeth. Smart guy, that Sleeth fellow.
7) And finally, these words from Jesus Himself, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30,The Msg).
Life in the "kitchen" is sometimes...no life at all. Took me a long time to learn that. Have a restful weekend dear one!