The Holiness of Busyness

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 want to be a Mary, but I'm worried about what others think of me while they are about doing. I want to be a Mary, but I feel lazy. I want to be a Mary, but I struggle to sit and listen. I can sit, no problem. But listen, that's work.

So is Mary's job harder, or is Martha's?

God, I want to know Your Word, so I'm going to join an inductive Bible study.

I'm so busy underlining and cross-referencing that I barely have time to digest His Word.

God, I want to learn who You want me to be, so I'm going to be part of a six-week mentoring program for young women.

I'm so busy reading the lesson and doing the homework - and cooking the weekly recipe to get extra points with the mentors - that I don't have time to search my heart.

God, I want to sit in Your presence and be with You.

I'm so busy chasing anxious thoughts away that I can't dwell with my Lord.

I have spent most of my life thinking about what others think of me - what I do or don't do, and even what they think of my quiet time, that I've had little room left for what God thinks of me.

In Sharon Garlough Brown's book, Sensible Shoes (which I recommend highly, by the way - more on that to come), she describes a dream of a character named Hannah, who is an exhausted pastor on forced sabbatical. Hannah, as a little girl, is joyfully picking flowers and laying them at Jesus' feet, running back to pick more flowers, laying them before Jesus, and running back and forth, back and forth. Finally, Jesus tells her, "Hannah, thank you for the flowers, but I just want to be with you."

Our God doesn't need us to read through the Bible in a year. He doesn't need us to pray through the Bible. He doesn't need our efforts to do what we think He wants. He just wants us. Anything less than ourselves, raw and unadorned before Him, is idolatry. I'm not saying to jump ship on your Bible study or Scripture memory plan. They are good, very good things for us. But they are only good when understood that they are meant to draw us into the presence of Christ. They are a tool to help us sit at His feet, gazing into His face, soaking up every Word He has for us. Nothing less than Jesus Himself.

That is the good portion.

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Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.


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