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 10:41-42, NKJV)
Hello! Welcome to this corner of the internet 😊. I wish you a happy new month and have asked the Lord that He order your steps into His good will in this month of August and beyond. Something that fascinates me about human beings is our ability to fill up our time with activities, as though we derive pleasure or pride from being occupied. Ironically, we often complain of not having enough time for things we need to do. Pause with me for a minute and take stock of the things that take your time – how many of them are really important from a divine perspective?
Many Christians are familiar with the story of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. Jesus is their guest, and Martha is running around trying to put things in place. But Mary is focused only on listening to what Jesus has to say. Martha definitely could use some help and speaks to Jesus out of frustration: “Why aren’t you asking my sister to help me?”. I used to feel Jesus’ response to Martha was unfair given that Martha was trying to be the good host. But now I know that it is the truth: not many things are important. Martha did not have her priorities right.
The first challenge in getting out of the trap of busyness is knowing what is really important. Surely, the answer varies from one person to another, but some things are basic as a Christian. Spending time with God in prayer and His Word should be top of every Christian’s daily to-do list. Nothing trumps this. The only way we can know our Father and understand His will is if we devote time to him continuously. Sharing time with those we call family is next, for me. Most of us depend on our family especially in challenging times – very wise to invest in those relationships.
Commitment to local church family is one thing keeps many Christians busy. While it is important that every believer belong and actively commits to serving in a local church, it is not compulsory to be a part of every activity your church organizes, especially if it meets multiple times a week. Many have burned out attending church programs, while struggling with issues they have no one to share with. The goal is to serve and be edified as we fellowship together, not just mark attendance. Build relationships in your local church; that is far more important than showing up for every meeting.
Obviously, many of us have to spend time on our work/businesses, schooling/education, socializing, recreation and so many other important things. What is important is to weigh every activity on a scale of divine priority and appropriate the right amount of time to each one. Mary chose the good part, which could not be taken from her – hearing the word of the Lord. It is great to serve others, but not at the expense of your personal devotion or spiritual development. It is wonderful to serve in church, but not by refusing to serve at home or by dishonoring your spouse or parents.
The beauty of keeping Jesus at the centre of our lives is that He helps us keep focus on what is important. We often need wisdom and courage to know when to say “No” and to say it – those two come through God’s grace. Our use of time is more productive when we follow God’s directions, which come from our devotion with Him. There may be seasons we need to temporarily spend more time on some activities than is usual – we require God’s grace to pull those off. So long as the centre holds, everything else comes together. Otherwise, things fall apart. Have a blessed month ahead!