These days, I wake up and the first thing I think about is the list of things that I need to accomplish for the day. A number of questions rush through my head. Are the clothes clean? Do I need to run to the grocery store? What do I need to do before going to campus for the day? My head is filled with a list of things to do before I've even gotten out of bed.
My mind mulls over these things in the shower, and as I make Brandon and I breakfast, tasks are added to my phone. By the time I sit down to spend time reading Scripture and in prayer, a question arises in my heart: should I just spend time in God's Word later in the day and begin to tackle the day's tasks?
Sound familiar? My guess is that I'm not the only person that struggles with this question and another way of wording it is this: how can I make time to know and love God when I'm too busy and anxious about many things?
As I've wrestled through this morning after morning, I'm reminded of another woman that shared the same struggle. Her name was Martha, and you might know of her...
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)
I remember the first time I heard a sermon on this story of Scripture. My heart whispered, "You're such a Martha!" And I am. I'm just like Martha. I am often anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary and that's spending time at Jesus' feet. Jesus himself says that it is the good portion and one necessary thing.
When I think about necessary things in life, I often think back to what my college Psychology textbook said were the necessary elements for life: food, shelter, clothes, and security. Jesus says something completely different. He says that there is one necessary thing and that Mary chose the good thing. We can interpret from the text that the good thing Mary chose was sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to his teaching.
Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with much serving. Serving isn't a bad thing, but Martha was anxious and troubled by many things, and she clearly wanted Mary to help her and felt as if Mary should help her. But Jesus does an amazing thing. He does not respond to Martha in the way that I would, "Yeah Martha! You're doing so much work and Mary's just sitting. She should help you!"
However, Jesus responds that Mary has actually chosen the good portion - the best thing - the one thing that is necessary - time at her Lord's feet to listen to his teaching.
I needed to read this Scripture the morning that I did. I was anxious and nervous about many things on my to-do list. As I questioned whether time with Jesus in the morning was worth it, Jesus himself reminded me from the Word that time with him is the one necessary thing and it's the best thing I could do with my morning.
How about for you, my friends? Do you find yourself struggling to spend time at the feet of Jesus? Are you putting off time in the Scriptures for when you're less busy or when it's more convenient? If that's the case, let me encourage you as a fellow struggler that Jesus has the same words for us that he had for Martha. We are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is neccessary.
The best thing and the only necessary thing is spending time at the feet of our Lord and listening to his teaching. May we, like Mary, choose the better portion and know that it will not be taken away from us.
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