It’s crazy, I know, but if you’re taking your seasonal cues from Hobby Lobby, you better be purchasing those fall-leaves wreaths right now. But since you’re already in the store and they might be sold out, you may as well buy the replacements from those icicle lights that went out last Christmas!
Yes, it’s not even Halloween/Fall Festival time yet, but all the fixins’ and frills associated with the last three months on the calendar come out earlier and earlier every year. Oh, and buy or order that turkey now for the button-popping feasts coming up . . .
It all reminds me of the feast preps made famous by Jesus, particularly that one feast that two women treated very differently.
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.” Luke 10:38-40a
Martha invited Jesus into her home then went to work. But her labor peeled her away from His presence. Mary, consumed by her Savior, chose to sit at His feet.
LABOR CUMBERED ONE. LOVE CONSUMED THE OTHER.
I imagine Martha chopping away in the kitchen, If I don’t do this, who will? Somebody has to do it! Her chops grew harder. Her blood boiled a little hotter then finally, That’s it! She silently screamed as she marched into the other room . . .
And she went up to him [Jesus] and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” Luke 10:40
Can’t you just see her standing in the doorway with her hand on her hip and tapping her foot? My first thought goes something like, Hello! Jesus is in your living room! And you’re fussing at Him because He won’t make your sister help you! But if I give it a minute to soak in, this picture hits uncomfortably close to my home.
Look at these two gals: Martha swirls with chaos, frustration and fatigue. While Mary, positioned at Jesus’ feet, seems calm, peaceful and purposeful. I want to be Mary, but when there’s so much to be done it’s hard to choose love over labor. The key word there is choose.
LOVE IS OFTEN A CHOICE.
Love serves with a smile as her thoughts swirl around who her hands will serve and how they will benefit. Labor grinds with a grumble as she stands preoccupied with what must be done.
I love how one Bible translation records Jesus’ response to Martha’s demand:
Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Sometimes when schedules overflow, quiet time with our Lord is the first thing to go. We maximize every minute and squeeze out every drip of daylight, but we forget to slow down and sit at Jesus’ feet, continually listening to His teaching. And when we’re not plugged into our power source, choosing love can become very difficult.
As we busy ourselves with millions of details in the days and weeks to come, let’s keep Jesus’ words close. Only one thing matters. Let’s stay near the feet of Jesus and allow Him to lead us to choose love.