DON’T be DISTRACTED with ‘GOOD’ ACTIVITIES: But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:40-42)
When Jesus visited the home of Martha and Mary, we see that Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word, while Martha became distracted by her preparations for her beloved Rabbi (vv. 39-40). Martha’s complaint to Jesus indicates that she was irritated that her sister was not helping her. Jesus’ tender reply is evident in the double address of ‘Martha, Martha’ (6:46; 8:24; 13:34; 22:31) as He observed that Martha was anxiety-ridden over ordinary matters. On the other hand, Mary was a silent example. She said nothing, but did what was right by devoting herself to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus valued Mary’s affection above Martha’s service!
Based upon this incident, Charles R. Erdman writes: “While the Master does appreciate all that we undertake for Him, He knows that our first need is to sit at His feet and learn His will; then in our tasks we shall be calm and peaceful and kindly”.
The lesson to be learned from this true story is that we must choose our relationship with God over anything else. C. S. Lewis has one remarked, “You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first”. The first thing above everything else is our relationship with God. There is nothing wrong with serving in His vineyard but we must take time to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His Word. It is important to serve God and serve others, but it is even more important to delight God by spending quality time with Him alone!
Like Martha, we are called on to strike a balance between faithful, diligent service in our day-to-day responsibilities, and a constant attitude of dependence on the Lord by maintaining close relationship with Him. Are we so busy serving Him that we have no time to love Him and listen to Him?
"One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple." (Psalms 27:4)