"Martha, Martha, 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
I recently finished reading Craig Groeschel's new book, #Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World. It is a great book, and I really needed to hear every word that Groeschel had to say in it. The world is ever-changing. We have seen so many changes throughout history, and today we are seeing more changes than ever thanks to technology. Some change is good; some change is bad; but change is going to happen either way, so we must learn to adapt. One of the good changes in technology is the ability to communicate with family and friends instantly. Our mobile devices have become valuable tools that we can use in many positive ways. Our mobile devices have changed the way we work, too. We can get so much done with just a few taps on our phones, tablets, and computers. However, this good change can quickly go wrong, if we are not careful in how we use it (or abuse it). In his book, Groeschel lists many struggles that come with this ever-changing world due to technology. Because of technology, social media has become something we must deal with properly. Social media has caused us to struggle with "comparisons, with control, and desensitization," to name a few. Groeschel says we also struggle with "constant distractions." We have become a bunch of busybodies, living distracted lives! Our busyness has become a major problem.
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus sees this problem and answers it quickly: "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 few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" Martha was doing good things. She was serving Jesus. However, Martha's busyness for Jesus was not the one thing that mattered most. BEING with Jesus was more important that DOING for Jesus at this time. Mary understood this; Martha did not. Martha's busyness only brought her worry and anger, even to the point of telling Jesus what to do. It did not bring her joy or peace. Before we laugh at Martha or judge her, we need to take a look in the mirror. Are we any better? I believe, through technology and social media, we believe we are needed much more than we actually are. We believe we must answer the call or the text or the email immediately. We believe that people or work need our immediate attention all the time. We are embracing our busyness, and many times, we are calling it needed ministry. We minister to our families; we minister to our jobs; we minister to our churches; we minister to our communities. BUSYNESS HAS BECOME OUR IDOL. We are living lives with worry and with anger. We, too, at times are telling Jesus what to do. We need to hear the words that Jesus spoke to Martha in Luke 10:41-42. Yes, we are desperately needed at times with our families, with our jobs, with our churches, and with our communities. No, none of these people or things should ever come before Jesus. I am not saying that we dump our responsibilities or turn our backs on everyone or everything. I am simply saying that we need to remember that one thing is more important than everything else: BEING WITH JESUS. It is when we are with Jesus, enjoying peace and rest that only He can give, that we will be empowered and refreshed to live life fully...able to serve God wholeheartedly, able to love our families faithfully, able to work in our jobs passionately, and able to move in our communities compassionately. We have to make a choice today. We have to choose to slow down and even be still. I end this blog today with one of my favorite quotes from Groeschel's book, #Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World. He says on page 180, "We're constantly distracted. We can't work productively for long stretches because we allow something to ping or beep and break our concentration. We let our RPMs run all the time, constantly revving our mental and emotional engines. We feel overwhelmed, and we don't know why. We're short with our children, and we don't know why. We feel exhausted spiritually, and we don't know why. We long for something more. Ironically, we keep returning to the source of our discontent, and of course, we won't find peace there. SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE." What needs to change for you to simply be with Jesus? What needs to change for you to enjoy peace and rest in Jesus? What needs to change for you to slow down or be still?