In this moment of life, I find this post very reassuring. I have had a really busy past couple weeks with being overwhelmed by work, school, and life in general. I can see my sleep patterns change, health take a downturn, and mind grow a little dull. I am reminded that my plate cannot always be full, and, in reality, saying no is actually the right decision sometimes. I hope that if this is a busy season of life you are reminded that busyness was not what you were created for. Remember, Jesus said he has come to bring rest. Do not neglect the rest he brings for you for the sake of the work you do for him. I hope this encourages you and reminds you as much as it does me.
There are two main characters in this story: Mary and Martha.
Mary sits at the feet of Jesus listening to what He says, while Martha is busy with preparations. Martha –feeling overwhelmed I’m sure– asks Jesus to tell her sister to help her with all the tasks she is doing, probably the common hospitalities you would extend to guests you invited into your home. Remember, that it is not just Jesus traveling by himself, but He has twelve disciples that walk, eat, and sleep where He does. It is easy to see how Martha is preoccupied with such a daunting task.
I imagine that Martha’s request is not one out of indignant irritation that Mary is with Jesus, but out of sheer frustration and stress.
Jesus’ response does not condemn Mary or Martha. In fact, in His response, Jesus sympathizes with Martha’s current situation, but He also highlights that Mary chose the better of the two. They were both good things, but Mary chose the best.
How often are we Martha? How many times do we find ourselves busied doing the “work of Jesus” that we forget to slow down and just sit at the feet of Jesus?
I wonder sometimes if we’ve accepted busyness as just another necessary vice in our lives. We end up justifying it by saying, “Well they are all good things…” or “They’re all Christian things, organizations, and projects…” But if we have so many things on our plate that they end up taking over those sacred times with God, then it is sin. It is an idol. We have replaced God with works for God.
What if we were to say no to some things? What if we were to cut out one or two activities per week? What if instead of always going and doing, we tried to live and be? What if we stopped trying to prepare and just sat and listened? How would your life be different if you said no to the busyness and said yes to Jesus?
So I leave you with a sobering quote from one of my high school mentors that will forever haunt the deep recesses of my heart:
“If keeping you busy, keeps you from God… then you will be busy for the rest of your life.” -Don Hart