Herding butterflies would have been easier. Jeff, our oldest son, was hosting a bachelor party for his younger brother, Andy, here in Mazatlán, and 29 of Andy’s friends had come to celebrate. Eleven condominiums were rented for four days, a day-long fishing trip was scheduled, as was a golf competition at a spectacular course. Other than that, according to Jeff, the men could do “whatever they wanted.”
My job was to help organize. No problema. I love to organize. I would need spreadsheets for flight schedules, condo roomie preferences, likes or dislikes for shellfish and guacamole, rankings for ocean swimming abilities, number of golf clubs to rent, etc. Jeff kept reminding me that these were not my girlfriends. Many of the guys wouldn’t book their flights until the day before, much less know if they would participate in the scheduled activities until it was time to load the vans. Jeff was right. These definitely were not my girlfriends who book trips months in advance, the same day they start packing.
How did these guys function? How could I pair them up for taxis or book them on the shuttle if I had no idea when they arrived? How many vans did I need, if these guys all operated by the seat of their golf pants? How would I possibly keep track of them all for four days?
My carefree hubby was no help. “Patty, don’t stress about it. You’re not going to change the way these guys operate.” Dave apparently didn’t realize that these 30-48 year olds were free spirits, only three of them spoke any Spanish, and none had ever been to Mazatlán before. I wanted a buddy system, preferably like kindergarten field trips where they’re all roped together.
Jeff questioned my micromanaging, not understanding that, in life, someone has to take care of the details. Right? I was a wreck the entire four days. Five of the guests chose to take the ferry to “find a place” that rented jet skis instead of go fishing. Others wandered off to tour the historic part of Mazatlán. My two nephews went to Mass at the Cathedral, walking two miles to catch a cab because the annual Marathon runners had closed the streets. I had no control!
On the day most of the guys left Mazatlán, Brad was nowhere to be found. Andy finally checked his room and realized his suitcase was gone, so “He probably already left.”
Probably? Probably? Shoot me now!
I can’t help it. I am a Martha. Hear me roar. Luke 10:38-42 was written for me. You probably know the story. Jesus and his amigos were invited to Martha and Mary’s home. Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” Martha, distracted by all of the details involved in being a good hostess, was annoyed that Mary lounged while she labored over a hot stove. (I repeat–Someone has to take care of the details, right?) At her wit’s end, Martha ratted out Mary to Jesus. “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Yes! Yes! I get it. I would have loved to have been on a jet ski or riding in a golf cart instead of sitting at home, stewing about the safety of…well, however many men were wherever they were. Surely Jesus empathized and told Mary to be more sensitive, right?
“Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed— indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (When I read that, my roar becomes a whimper.)
It wasn’t until Andy’s friends said their good-byes that I realized how much time I had spent fretting. So, when they all shared that they couldn’t wait to come back, I knew what I would do differently once they booked those flights.
I would book my own. To go see my girlfriends…in the United States.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”