I Am Martha
Poor Martha. More than 2000 years after she made the mistake of making a meal too huge while trying to keep her house too clean, we are still telling her story. You know Martha. She was too busy doing housework to spend time with Jesus and her sister has gone down in history as the best sister for just hanging out at Jesus’ feet.
Check it out:
“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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:38-42).
I can totally relate to Martha in this story. Jesus was at her house. She wanted to cook him a fabulous meal. She wanted to set a beautiful table. She wanted her house to be spick and span, and all her stinkin’ sister would do was sit there.
Martha wanted to impress Jesus. Nothing wrong with that, right? I imagine Martha was the kind of gal who wanted to be good at everything. In the end it just left her feeling resentful, stressed and worn out.
Are you feeling a bit like Martha these days? Are you trying to be the very best at everything? Do you want to be the best athlete, the best student, the best girlfriend, the best friend, the best daughter, the best Christian and the best person in the room? I hate to go all Dr. Phil on you, but “how’s that workin for ya?”
Striving to be the best at everything is exhausting, probably because it’s impossible. There will always be a better athlete, musician, or student than you. It’s just the way the world works. Getting yourself worked into a tizzy trying to stay on top isn’t likely to land you where you want to be.
Did you notice how Jesus responded to Martha? He didn’t stroke her ego. He didn’t make her feel silly. He simply reminded her that her to do list didn’t matter.
“You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (v. 41).
Are you worried and upset about many things? How many of those things are eternal? Which items on your to do list will last forever?
You can keep trying to be the best at everything and fall short or you can turn that energy toward seeking the one thing that cannot be taken.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to see him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).