A few years ago, my girlfriend “Sharon” came from Florida to spend some quality time with her widowed mother who lived on a small farm outside of Fort Scott. Since her mother was a homebody and didn’t venture far from her garden, Sharon planned to take her mom shopping and treat her to a few of the local restaurants.
My friend flew into KC on Sunday. Wednesday found her at my house in tears.
“Mom” couldn’t leave her house on Monday because that was the cleaning day. Tuesday was for laundry and ironing and Wednesday for canning. Sharon offered to help but was told her mom needed to do it alone so it was done right. To add insult to injury, the “Is there something wrong with my cooking?” question caught my friend off guard.
Mom’s schedule dominated her life, and not even her daughter’s visit would dissuade her from altering it. Of course, Saturday “would have been fine” for a lunch out, but since Sharon had booked an early morning flight, she obviously had “not taken” her mother’s agenda into account. It was a miserable week.
Sharon’s mother died two years after that visit, but my friend has not forgotten her mother being so locked into her agenda that she could not set aside time just to “hang” with her only child. The Bible shares a powerful message on what Jesus thinks of people who cannot make time for relationships. Luke 10:38-42 is a familiar story but one worth revisiting.
Company’s coming, and not just any company. This is Rabbi Jesus and his friends, and Martha, the restless hostess, is almost ready; the house is free of cobwebs and the dirt floor swept, and there will be no shortage of food or drink. Still, the pressure is building. If there is something to stew about, Martha will find it. Not her sister Mary. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, soaking in all he has to say.
What a difference!
A preacher at my step-daughter’s church expounded on that message with these words: “The presence of Jesus was part of Martha’s plan, but it WAS Mary’s plan. If Martha had time, she was going to be with Jesus. If Mary didn’t have time, she still was going to be with Jesus.”
Don’t skim his words. Read them again. The pastor ended his sermon by asking which one represented us. “Do we merely include Jesus in our schedule, or is our schedule designed around time with our Savior?”
Jesus modeled priorities. No one has ever been busier than he, yet he never appeared harried. He was all about people. The gospel makes it clear as to where we start. If we want a stress-less, worry-less, stew-less schedule, we must make time to sit at Jesus’ feet.
Martha’s regimen had no eternal benefits. Mary’s did.
So, the question remains: Do we want Busy, or do we want Blessing?