Choose What is Better
“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 10:41-42
This passage has rankled task-oriented people for 2,000 years. Martha was busy in the kitchen, making dinner for Jesus and his disciples. While she worked frantically, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. Martha complained about her sister’s laziness, and got rebuked for it. And all the busy people in the world said, “then who was supposed to make dinner?”
Dinner wasn’t the point of course. They would eat in due time, loaves and fishes if need be. Jesus had already demonstrated the ability to feed himself and his followers when the need arose. Jesus was unburdened by the “practical,” but we are obsessed with it.
Jesus knew Martha’s heart and cut to the core of it. Her issue wasn’t merely being busy in the kitchen on this particular day. “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” Like Martha, I am often worried and upset about many things. My perception of the significant and eternal is overwhelmed by my perceived need to satisfy my own practical needs. Like Martha, I need to be reminded that only one thing is needed.
The mind fills with “buts” and “what ifs,” but I need to remember that Mary chose what was better, and that was to sit at Jesus’ feet.
Lord Christ, let me always put you above the needs of my body. Amen.
~ Stephen Peterson