Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mary or Martha?

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their 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

I love to entertain. I LOVE IT!- I am the woman who starts planning and plotting for a family holiday, MONTHS before the actual holiday. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will spend endless hours on the intranet, searching for the perfect menu and perfect recipes. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will search Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Jeffrey Allen and every holiday magazine and holiday cooking TV show for the perfect centerpiece, the perfect napkins, the perfect dishes, the perfect flatware, even the perfect name plates. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will have her menu posted a month before, and her table sat the week before. I love to entertain. I am a Martha. I'm ashamed to admit, but I am. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, wanting everything to be "perfect". On more than one holiday I've worked hard to have the perfect table, the perfect menu, to be the perfect hostess, but is it all in vain? Are you a Mary or are you a Martha?

I should ask myself-"If Jesus was attending my holiday event, would my preparations be the same?" I know I would want things to be perfect-after all I'm entertaining the King of Kings! But what would be truly important?-that my napkins matched my centerpiece? That I served the most delicious meal? NO-what would be important is that I would be in the presence of God! Should we spend time running around or should we be sitting at His feet? Should we be a Mary or a Martha?

We do this in our spiritual lives as well. How many times have I thought to myself, “I have to set “this perfect time” aside and I have to read the perfect devotion book? Jesus wants us to take a long deep breath and just relax. He wants us to breath and allow His Spirit to envelope us. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe we should set aside precious time every day to spend just with Him. We get discouraged easily and slack off or even give up when it comes to personal time with Him. I know I’ve been guilty of that. Mary didn’t even know at the time, that her time with Jesus on earth would be ending soon. But still she sat at his feet, just worshiping him in all His glory.

I need to take a lesson from Mary. Jesus isn't concerned with the fancy frills- Jesus isn’t interested in how many pies I’ve baked or if the marshmallows are melted perfectly on my sweet potatoes. He's looking at the inside-not what's on the outside. Mary knew the importance of every minute she was in His presence and she didn't want to waste one second.

The next time I host a holiday, I'm certain His Spirit will be there. Sure-I'll want it to be nice, but I will remember Mary and her satisfaction of the simple things and I will thank God that I have what's important around me-my family and friends and I will be content.

Father, thank You so much for holidays! Thank You for family and friends- for old traditions and new memories, for the opportunity to be grateful for all You have bestowed on us. Help me to relax this holiday season and truly remember the meaning and what's important- YOU.