38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But 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!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." --Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
I think I tend more toward Martha than Mary. And that may be quite an understatement.
It's not that I keep a pristine home (contrary to what I might say in "Not me!" Monday). In fact, I too can tend a bit toward entropy, at times. I have my little piles, my pockets of utter disorganization. And while I enjoy having things tidy, I ask you not to look too closely at my baseboards when you come to my house.
But sometimes there is a tendency to take on the mantle of a martyr. At times the sheer volume of that for which I'm responsible weighs down on me. It is easy to point a finger and start to compare. Who has the most duties? Which duties outweigh other duties? What is fair? I so easily find myself embroiled in these little battles within myself. Loving, but complaining. Longing to be good at my position as keeper of the home, yet finding it more difficult than I had ever imagined. As though I am trying to run in waist-deep water. Feeling outnumbered, under-appreciated, and worst of all, undermined.
And yet (there always seems to be one of those, doesn't there?) let's listen to what the Lord says: "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."
So often I let myself become bogged down with the details of my life. Not that many of those details aren't worthy of attention. I believe that I should strive for an orderly home, a place of comfort and peace for my husband and children. A haven from the world out there. And I still think that taking the time to prepare real, nourishing food is well worth the effort. There are so many worthy pursuits.
But Jesus says "...only one thing is needed."
And what is that one thing? What was Mary doing that was so praiseworthy? She "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said."
May I never lose sight of where I am to be looking. Of to Whom I am to keep my ears attuned, and where I am to stay: at His feet. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing. He is above all of it. He is the One to work for and to please, and the truly worthy One.