Luke 10:40–42 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.”
Do you have any free days open on your calendar this week? this month? this year? It seems that in our fast-paced society even the calendars of retirees fill up quickly, to say nothing of that of a parent. There are school plays to see, dentist visits to schedule, softball games to watch, music lessons to attend, and so on. Today many businesses demand more than 9-to-5 employees, as bosses gobble up nights with meetings and weekends with trips.
Some of our busy-ness, to be sure, can’t be avoided. On the other hand, some of it can; we often are victims of our own desires. Some of our busy-ness may even be well-intentioned. We want to experience and we want our children to experience certain things. We want to volunteer to help others -a good thing.
Martha’s busy-ness was well-intentioned too. Jesus had come to her home, and she wished to give her Lord the best she could offer. But all her running around caused her to become “distracted” (“dragged around” as the Greek says). She failed to see what was truly important and blessed: the Savior was sitting in her living room. She could only think about the meal.
How easy it is to let the rush of this world divert our attention from seeing Jesus! How sad to flop down on a pillow, content that we’ve finished all the items on our “To Do” lists, only to realize that “spend time with Jesus today” wasn’t even on it! How frightening when we realize that Jesus once told a parable about some whose faith grew up quickly from a seed, only to be choked out by the cares and worries of life (Luke 8:14)!
At Martha’s home, Jesus in love sounded a word of caution. The same Jesus speaks the same word in our homes today. The things to do in life may be good, they may be exciting, they may even be beneficial. But if Jesus is not the focus of our attention, these same things can easily become distractions that lead us away from him. After all, softball tournaments eventually end. Projects are completed. “Must do” things are soon over. But eternity lasts forever. Only by keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus will we enjoy its happiness.