Yesterday I talked about balance starting in the mind and applying the scriptures Philippians 4:4-8 to our lives which would result in Jesus guarding our hearts and minds.
Today I want to look at distractions and I’m sure this is a very familiar passage of scripture:
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42 ESVhttp://bible.com/59/luk.10.38-42.esv
Many times I’ve heard people talk about this passage of scripture and Martha gets a bad rap. They focus on Mary because Jesus defended her sitting at His feet to learn from Him. Well let’s think about this for a minute. The scripture tells us that Martha was distracted with much serving. You know what it’s like, right? You plan a Holiday at your place and invite let’s say 20 guests. You are responsible for getting the house cleaned, shopping for the meal prep, decorating, cooking, baking, serving, entertaining and on and on it goes. You know how it is, I’m sure. We have all been there at some point.
So Martha was just doing what she had to do to take care of her guests and apparently she did not plan well with Mary because Mary left her alone to do all the work. Martha was frustrated because she was doing all the work. I’m sure every wife, mother, grandmother totally gets that picture and says “been there, done that”, amen?
I checked the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon to see what is said about the word distracted from the verse above and it said “to draw away, to be driven mentally, to be over-occupied and too busy.” Hello! Welcome to my world and I’m willing to bet it’s your world too! We have so many things that distract us – good things, bad things, simple things, complicated things, work things, family things, recreational things, etc. We have technology that is great and provides us instant access to everything we could possibly want right at our fingertips. But if we are not careful all these things can take us away from the most important things.
This is what I believe Jesus was trying to get through to Martha. She was so busy taking care of the serving and the preparations that she allowed it to bring her anxiety. All the distractions were good and most were necessary. I’m reminded of the story where Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman at the well and his disciples had gone to get food and when they returned they urged Him to eat but His response was “But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”” John 4:32 ESV http://bible.com/59/jhn.4.32.esv
Could it be that He wanted Martha to take the position that Mary had chosen? To sit at His feet and soak up all the things He said and taught? I think so. I’m talking about distractions here but it still goes back to balance because we have to be intentional about spending time feeding ourselves with the Bread of Life and drinking of the Living Water. We cannot sit at Jesus literal feet today but as we dive deep into our Bibles and spend time in prayer and worship then everything else will fall into place.
I’m convinced putting Jesus first will help us have balance and will also keep those distractions from causing us to have anxiety. It’s being intentional. Mary was intentional about sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha was caught up in the serving. Both are necessary but truly there can be a balance where we can incorporate both of these things in our lives. Let’s start now!
God Bless and thank you for reading today.