"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.'"
"Mary has chosen what is better..." If I was Martha, those words would sting a bit. I mean, they had to eat! Isn't serving others and being a good host important too? I think of Ecclesiastes 3:1 when it says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." There's a time to prepare and be active. But there's also a time to sit and be still. The trick is finding the balance, and discerning which is more important at any given time.
I've been enjoying a book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. I'm just part way in, but one of his premises is that in the church today we are too often Martha and rarely Mary. "One of the surest signs of [Martha's] life being out of order is that she tells God what to do!" She does when you look at the scripture! Peter goes on to say, "...the active life in the world for God can only properly flow from a life with God. God has a unique combination of activity and contemplation for each of us." Each of us has something to do in the body of Christ. We aren't meant to be spectators. But I love that last part when Peter says "God has a unique combination...for each of us." I find it hard to not compare myself with others. There's a constant tug of war between doing more, and taking refresh time. We can certainly learn from others and their balance between the two, but at the end of the day, God wants you to find your healthy balance between being Mary versus Martha.
Do you need to stop, and just be with Jesus? Why not take a quiet walk and pray, find a comfy chair and reflect, grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and read the words of Jesus. Sit in the sanctuary during the week and just listen. I'll let you in.
No big agenda. No self-induced expectations. Just be, listen and refresh.
If that sounds like torture, you probably really need to do it.