I think many of us are familiar with the story in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) but here is a brief summary: Jesus is visiting a village and Martha, who has a sister, Mary, opens up her home to Him. After welcoming Jesus, Martha was busy making preparations for Him, like a good host, while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what He was teaching. Martha got upset that Mary was not helping and voiced her displeasure to Jesus, hoping that He would tell Mary to join her but that is not what He did. Instead he told Martha that she was distracted. He further told her that few things were needed, if not just one, and the one that Mary had chosen was the one thing that would never be taken away from her.
I was concerned over the past couple of weeks that I was pulling a Martha. When I say pulling a Martha, it means doing more preparations than listening to the Word of God. To be clear, I believe strongly in serving in God’s House. 1 Peter 4:10 very much tells us that we are to serve: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. So serving is part of our calling as believers.
However, over the past few weeks I found myself feeling “distracted by preparations”. I felt that I was spending more time working for God and not enough time walking with Him. Since I first had this thought, a void began growing because I was feeling starved of the intimacy that my relationship with God used to have. And then the void grew into a gaping wide hole begging to be closed off by me spending more time with God.
For a second I let myself believe that serving hard had to count for something despite a mediocre relationship but that lie could not and would not settle in my spirit. So I knew there was a problem. The question was “How do I fix it?”. I tried to answer that question using human wisdom and it was futile.
Unfailing, the scriptures had the answer to my question. What I got from Luke 10:38-42 is that it is much better to serve in a few positions while still taking time to ensure that I am developing my relationship with God, than to be serving in numerous positions and not have a solid relationship with God. By saying Mary had chosen the one thing that was most important and could not be taken from her, I believe Jesus was saying that if it ever comes down to choosing, having a solid relationship with Him should be your priority.
Simply put: I need to intentionally find balance between working and walking and if I cannot find balance, then I must without hesitation choose walking. I love serving so I really do hope I succeed at my mission to find balance. However, if it comes down to it, I must ready myself to serve less in order to grow more.
So dear reader, if you ever catch yourself pulling a Martha, make sure you work at finding balance and if you are unsuccessful at that, then do not hesitate to choose the one thing that is most important because it cannot be taken away from you.