As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I’m a Martha by nature. I have an unending need to have things just so. Everything put away. Laundry clean and folded. Dishes done. Floor swept or vacuumed. I used to think that this was one of my best traits. After all, who doesn’t love a clean house? At work, everything was organized perfectly and my desk was spotless. What a great employee I must have been!
After getting married, my outlook started to change a little. Which was more important, mopping the kitchen or spending time with my husband? I’m ashamed to say that I usually chose the former. I still struggle with this, a lot. I joke that I have OCD, but truly I am maybe just a little
anal particular about things.
Flash forward to my daughter being born. Those first few weeks, as I’m sure all moms can attest, I barely seemed to be able to take a shower. Suddenly, cleaning the house just wasn’t an option, let alone a priority. And guess what? We all survived. Life went on. And I found that spending time with my little girl, and my husband, was much more rewarding than having a spotless house.
Isn’t this how we are with God? We find ways to circumvent spending time with Him. Yeah, I need to read my bible, but I’d better clean up this table first so I have a nice place to take notes or If I quickly check Facebook before I start, I can find a bible verse to post while I’m reading or I will set aside time to pray tonight when I have everything done and it’s not so hectic; I just don’t have time now. We think things like this, but what we’re really saying is, I have more important things to do than spend time with God or I will be a better Christian if I do [insert task here].
Aren’t we all guilty of this at one time or another? Even now, while I’m at home with my daughter during the day, I find myself filling the time while she naps with housework instead of prayer. I sometimes have to force myself to stop and read my bible instead. Because which is more important, having a clean house or improving my relationship with God?
Satan will attack wherever he sees an opportunity. He will get in your head and convince you that it’s okay to do this and that and this other thing first. Before you know, it you haven’t read your bible or prayed in days – you were just too “busy.” He will convince you this is okay, because look at how wonderful your house looks! He will take whatever is important to you (for me, obviously, having a clean house) and twist it into something that keeps you away from God. Don’t let him! We have to continually to choose to make time for things that bring us closer to God. We have to consciously choose to be a Mary instead of a Martha.