We live in a world that tries to thrive by being busy. The workforce tells us to be more
productive in less time, with fewer workers. Praise is given to the driven. The ones who
sacrifice family time and personal time are the ones rewarded.
But is that the life God calls us to? A life given completely to the rat race of status and
recognition? A life lived for the elusive goal of success recognized by the world?
Even within our Christian community, busyness appears to be valued. Have you signed
up for a Bible study? Have you joined a life group or a committee? Do you teach
Sunday school or have a blog post? How are you serving? Are you involved in the
Are you stressed out with service? Have you spread yourself too thin, thinking you need
to do it all to prove your worth? I know I have often tied my sense of worthiness to how
involved I am.
I am not poking fun at these things. We need to be involved in our churches and
communities. But where do we draw the line? It’s a personal decision between you and
Let’s dive into a familiar story. (Luke 10:38-42)
Jesus visited his friend Lazarus and his sisters. The sisters needed to prepare a feast,
but as Martha bustled around, busy and stressed, she felt slighted. Why was she the
only one working? Her sister, Mary, who should have been working alongside her, was
shirking her duties to sit at Jesus’ feet! Martha’s resentment grew until she pleaded with
Jesus to make her sister get up and help her. She didn’t approach Mary quietly, but
called her out in front of everyone. She interrupted Jesus while he was speaking to
demand her own way. Jesus gently rebuked her for her attitude, telling her that Mary
had chosen better and He wouldn’t take her choice away.
God knows what we need and what we waste our time on. He knows what His purposes
are for each one of us. Our gifts are uniquely ours, but they overlap and mesh together
to work for the good of the Kingdom. Many times we mistake our busyness for service.
What we need is time at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His presence. When we marinate
ourselves in God’s word, we are filled with His Spirit, which then overflows to others.
Examine your heart and motives. Why do you do everything you’re involved in? Are you
a Martha, concerned about doing and caring for every last detail? Or are you a Mary,
desiring to hear every word that falls from Jesus’ lips and delighting in His presence?
Life will never have a balance-it isn’t possible. We can choose to listen to how God
directs us to serve and not overdo. The busier we are, the harder we’re going to crash.
We were not meant to be caught in the frenzy of life, constantly rushing to meet one
deadline after another.
Instead, we are meant to take the time, every day, to stop and sit at the feet of Jesus.
He alone has the power to fill us with the strength we need to face the day and the
innumerable tasks that await.
Do you have a Mary heart in a Martha world? Do you find delight in serving Him? Lean
in and let God teach you what that means.