I’m not a stranger to this story or concept. I’ve just never really spent time here because it’s a lesson to not be a “Martha”, right? And frankly, I’ve got that covered. I am not a homemaker. I’ve never felt like I related to Martha, so I’ve never let the story actually speak to me.
Tonight, instead of surfing my phone while the babes watched tv I decided to actually watch with them. It was a cartoon redo of this story in Luke (but with birds as the characters). After putting the girls in bed, I decided to give the story of Mary and Martha another look.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.”
For starters, I mean I like to think I’d open my home to Jesus if he came by. But let’s be honest… even if my best friend stopped by unannounced I might pretend to not be home. Like literally, if there is a knock at the door my girls carry on relatively unphased. They just know, Mommy doesn’t answer. (She’ll check later to see if it’s an amazon or Old Navy box but other than that…)
Not to mention the state of complete disaster that my house is in at any given time. Jesus can’t see that! (He sees everything, just play along.) I remember deep cleaning our home for our first Bible study of the year and wondering—would I mop if Jesus was coming over? Would I put my cleanest foot forward? Or would I just be like, who are we kidding you know what you’re getting here, Lord. But really—stop reading for a second. What would you do?
“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.”
The word DISTRACTED jumped out of this passage and bit me like a rattlesnake. The sting of it. I mean, if that’s not the word of the century. Distracted.
Distracted by social media.
Distracted by our apple products.
Distracted by our tv.
Distracted by our jobs.
Distracted by our hobbies.
Distracted by food.
Distracted by photoshopped images.
Distracted by media and ads and covers of magazines and greed and lust and comparison… Name. Your. Vice.
And it doesn’t even have to be “bad” things. How about being a mom? My eyes open in the morning and I already feel like I’ve run out of time for what I need/want to do for the day.
We are a distracted people.
“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…”
You are worried and upset about many things, He says. Martha is literally running around trying to make things perfect for Jesus. Could she be any more justified in being productive? Verse 40 even says she was doing “all the preparations that HAD to be made”. Had. Not should, or some other flexible term and yet she’s getting it all wrong.
I am getting it all wrong right now. Let me count the ways…
I like to eat bad things often. I like to eat when I’m sad.
I get pretty moody and depressed from “fall” to “spring”. (Quotations because Ohio weather doesn’t play by the rules.)
When my schedule gets full, I shut down. I get anxiety and just start purging responsibilities and disappointing people left and right.
You can believe it or not, but when we gave up tv back around Christmas and subbed in reading our Bibles and watching sermons, everything changed. When I was at the feet of Jesus, it was better. Jesus was better. Jesus is better. I felt whole. I felt joyful, no matter the circumstances. I felt out of my own way and able to be useful. I felt like I was knocking the wife and mom thing out of the park. </end informercial script> I mean, that’s what it sounds like. That I’m selling a solution. But it really was better.
We made it about a month and a half. Then we started allowing some kid shows during the day, or Hubs and I could watch Christian movies at night. I started cheating on my work-at-home boundaries. Quickly—and I mean quickly, that turned into me binge watching the Bachelor franchise, not looking up from my phone ever and playing hookey from church.
Here I am entering into April, grasping at sanity straws, eating junk, falling apart, missing Jesus, and find myself literally “worried and upset about many things”. Just like her.
Turns out old Martha dear and I have more in common than I thought. Let’s keep reading. Because who better to park this car than Jesus? His advice?
“but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NIV
Anyone else need to toss out distractions and just plop down at His feet? Just me?