Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
After pulling apart the words used to describe how Martha was feeling in this passage, I discovered two important definitions.
Distracted and drawn away
Martha loved Jesus too, that much is clear. In fact, I think she would have loved to just sit at His feet and drink in His every word. But ‘so much to do’ was pulling at her, nipping her heels and making a lot of noise. People are depending on her, needing her, demanding her attention. Her days get consumed with needs and have to’s and should’s and no-time-for-that’s. I think maybe she would need to get up at 5:00 a.m. if she wants to be a Mary and good gravy that’s early. And things start to feel no fair and I think Martha was just tired. And a little cranky.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Distracted. Drawn away. Pulled and tugged and nipped at and too tired to get up that early. But then I hear His words and I take the comfort they offer.
Few things are needed. Only one, really. Choose the better thing.
Because in all the pulling and nipping and noisy demanding…I’ve still been choosing. It just hasn’t felt that way. Sometimes, a lot of times, feelings are liars. What feels like no choice is, in reality, the choosing we are doing.
Getting up early is not a mountain, it’s a choice. Ignoring the pull of need to, ought to and have to long enough to sit at His feet is not a wish, it’s a choice.
One of my favorite lines in the bible is simply this — “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” I love that line because of what it reveals of Jesus.
He will fiercely protect my choice to sit at His feet.