Our Bible verse for today: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Slow down and relax”
Jesus was in the house! He was sitting right there in the living room talking with Mary and waiting for supper (or so Martha thought). As Mary relaxed and enjoyed being with Jesus Martha hustled around the kitchen, banging pots and pans and pushing hard to prepare a meal for them all. The harder she worked the more anxious she got – and the more irritated with Mary she became. Martha was busting her buns in the kitchen while Mary was sitting on her buns in the living room! Grrr!
Soon she had had enough. Into the living room she stomps ready to give Mary a piece of her mind (and wondering why Jesus didn’t tell that lazy sister of hers to get in the kitchen and help her). But instead of correcting Mary, Jesus corrects Martha. It turns out that Jesus was more interested in company than food, and what he really wanted Martha to do was to sit down, rest and relax, and just enjoy being with Him.
Unfortunately I tend to be more like Martha than Mary. I spend a lot of time banging pots and pans when I should be enjoying time with Jesus. I have a list of things to do, I have places to go, people to see, things to accomplish. Day after day, chore after chore, it never seems to end. Grrr! Sometimes I long for retirement so I can enjoy long luxurious days of peace and quiet, resting and relaxing! (All my retired friends are laughing right now. Most of them tell me that somehow they ended up being busier in retirement than they were when they were working).
No, it’s not a matter of being retired or not – it’s a matter of having right priorities. It’s a matter of putting first things first. Jesus didn’t tell Martha that it was wrong to work hard to prepare a nice meal – He only said that she was doing it at the wrong time. There would be time later for cooking and cleaning, but in that moment she needed to rest, relax, and enjoy.
Sabbath-rest is an attitude. As Mark Buchanan explains in his book “The Rest of God”, Sabbath-keeping isn’t just a day, it’s an orientation, it’s a way of thinking that governs life and establishes our priorities. We’re all pretty good at doing things – we fill up our days with work and chores and endless activities, but seldom do we make enough time for rest and renewal. What we need is a change of attitude. We need to reorient our thinking.
I encourage you (me) to slow down and relax. Bang the pots and pans later. For now it’s time to sit with Jesus.