i wanted to be martha.


Growing up I didn’t like Mary.  I know as a Christian you’re probably not supposed to say that, but it’s true.  She annoyed me.  For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the story can be found in the gospel of Luke (chapter 10, verse 38).  Five short verses that I’ve wrestled with for a decade (or more).  I sympathized with Martha, even associated myself with her.  She found herself host to a houseful of hungry, tired men.  People she invited into her home but that didn’t make the preparations any less pressing– at least to her.  She worked herself into a tizzy trying to make sure everyone was comfortable, full, and content.  Meanwhile her sister could be found sitting at Jesus’ feet.  I, like Martha, was annoyed.  Who does she think she is?  Can’t she see that Martha needed help?  If she would’ve helped Martha could have been sitting down, too.  I’ve felt myself in her position so many times.  Bustling around making sure everybody has clean clothes or dinner to eat, that the floors aren’t collecting too much dog hair and the kids have had baths this week.  Then I hear Jesus’ words, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Jesus didn’t say Martha chose something “bad” or that she was selfish, but she was focusing on the wrong part of the story.  I find myself, more often than I care to admit, fighting my way back to the main part of the story—the most important part.  The part that is worthy of my time and attention.  The part that, if I allowed myself, would quiet my soul and replace chaos with peace and confusion with order.  Thursday I decided to try it.  I left my phone in my bedroom all day and only checked it if I heard Joe’s ringtone.  I replaced “just a minute, Noey” with immediate action and I told the dishes to wait.  Josiah came home to us in sweats, dirty laundry, and messy floors and you know what?  The Kingdom is OK.  Some days, of course, the house needs attention.  There are chores to be done and errands to run, but I chose what was better.  And it was glorious.  It’s an uphill battle, at best.  But a battle I’m choosing to fight, one tizzy at a time.

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