You’ve heard the story before. Jesus goes to visit Mary and Martha. Martha, because of her love for Jesus, wanted to be sure everything was just right for His visit. So, Martha, spent her time tending to the many details that she felt needed to be taken care of. Mary on the other hand, because of her love, sat and visited with Jesus, being sure to enjoy His company. The story continues with Martha getting upset that her sister is not helping out with all the work and is just sitting around talking. Jesus rebukes Martha by saying “only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better”
Here is what I notice about this story…Jesus said only one thing was required. He didn’t say that 10 things were required, or even just a few important things, but one thing. Jesus was apparently not too impressed with Martha’s attempt to get lots done.
I love to do lists, shopping lists, priority lists, lists of core values, and lots of other lists and checklists. I’m a list nut…a Martha by nature…always on mission, always a list of things to get done. My lists help me keep a lot of things in focus, things that my brain would otherwise forget.
In the story of Mary and Martha, Jesus shares that there is only one main thing to keep in focus, and that one thing is Him. Or to put it another way, it’s not the things on our lists that matter most, what matters most not forgetting the reason we are doing them in the first place…to serve him, to worship him, to simply enjoy his company.
John Piper reminds us, “The opposite of wasting your life is to live by a single, soul-satisfying passion for the supremacy of God in all things.” A single, soul satisfying passion. A passion for God. A passion like Mary had just to spend time with Him…just to focus on Christ.
I need to apply the story of Mary and Martha, along with John’s thoughts, to my life. In the business that life presents, I need to remember to slow down and focus on the one thing that matters…Him. Both Mary and Martha loved Jesus, both had the right intentions, but only one did it the right way…the one who focused on Him.