Martha's Distraction

Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on your wonderful works. ~Psalm 119:26-27

When I wrestle with a tough idea, the temptation is to push it out of my mind. After all, it is messing with my productivity and efficiency. I have things that are my responsibility and I can't be distracted by any old stray thought right?  This, for me, is one of the difficult blessings.  I do not like having my efficiency messed with.  Whatever interferes with my schedule is an intrusion. If the topic I'm thinking about has to do with living out my faith, I have to remind myself that it is OK to slow down and spend time dwelling on it. A thought or consideration that you can't shake is very likely the Holy Spirit bringing something to your attention.

For those who don't believe that God is real, you are not exempt. I know that the stray idea that God might actually be real and even possibly be everything that Christians believe He is, has occasionally crossed your mind. This train of thought is worth pursuing. An honest evaluation is always worthwhile on this subject, especially since you are betting your eternity on being right.

Likewise, the uncomfortable suspicion that I have something to work out is worth the time and effort of an honest perusal. God plants these thoughts for our own good or to prepare us for the benefit of someone else. It is amazing how well faith and the bible hold up and are strengthened by rational, intellectual scrutiny. The pace of my chores and routine can slow while I think as I work. It would, in fact, be wrong to willingly prioritize my work in this world over an opportunity to further my personal relationship with God when He speaks to me.

I have a sister who lives in Vietnam. Imagine if my sister called me all the way from Vietnam and said she had something important that she wanted to discuss and in reply I said, “Sorry, I am in the middle of laundry, and the dishes aren't done yet. Can we just do this later?” Of course I would take a break and talk to her for as long as she needed because my relationship with her is far more important than making sure every dish is clean.

The gospel of Luke tells a similar story:
As Jesus and his disciples were on the way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 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.” (Luke 10:38-42)
Martha let her service – in this case to the Lord Himself – get in the way of listening to what He was saying.  I relate to Martha more closely than anyone else in the bible, including her exasperation that no one was helping her.  I, too, get worried and upset in my effort to get everything done.  Whether you are a Christian or not, God is speaking to you and calling you deeper into relationship with Him. Are you going to put Him on hold and ask if you can call back when it is more convenient for you, or are you going to stop and listen to what He is saying?

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. ~Psalm 119:148

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