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Mary Time vs. Martha Time

Reflections on visiting with Jesus

How would you describe your time with The Lord?    Do you focus on Him or is it more of a time you use to vent all your frustrations with everyone and every circumstance telling Him what you want and think you need?  Is it a one-sided conversation or do you take time to seek a response from Him?

I refer to my “quiet” time with the Lord as my “Mary” time, because my ultimate goal is to one day respond to Jesus as Mary (Lazarus’ sister) chose to respond to him:

38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. Luke 10:38-39 (AMP)

What a beautiful picture!  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, looked at Him, touched Him, listened to him, and focused on him.  She was so interested in what He was saying that she let everything around her fade into the background.  She put all distractions aside.  She didn’t let the dirty dishes, dirty laundry, belated yard work or much-needed house maintenance take precedence over listening to Her Lord.

Can you do that?  Can you spend time “at Jesus’ feet” and put all the distractions aside while you focus on God himself?

I wish that I could say I am successful at this. The reason I said that “this is my goal” is because, in actuality, I respond more as Martha (Lazarus’ and Mary’s sister) did:

40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.”  Luke 10:40 (AMP)

Yes, I admit to being a “Martha” myself.  I want to be hospitable and I want everyone to be served appropriately and fed well.  This means I am apt to spend my time wearing myself out in preparation for the visit/meal/event that I am so excited to “host.”

I want everything to be perfect; I want everyone comfortable; and I want everyone’s needs met.  This means that during the event I cannot sit still—I have too much to do running hither and yon (here and there) trying to meet my own unrealistic expectations.  Once the event is over, I am exhausted, irritable, and have gained little, if any enjoyment, from whatever was going on around me.  My exhaustion and irritability has probably hindered everyone else’s enjoyment of the event. I let the responsibility of “hosting” distract me from the real focus of the event–which could be worship, fellowship, Bible study, prayer time, etc.

41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42 (AMP)

Now I love Martha, probably because I identify with her.  I know that Jesus loved her, too, and that He appreciated her service to him—which was to provide for his nourishment and comfort.  This is how Martha expressed her love; she wanted to take care of people, especially her Lord.  She wanted to please Him and so she did her best to be an exceptional hostess.  This is how she chose to serve Him.  Jesus understood where her heart was.

However, I think Jesus was reminding her that while she was fulfilling a very obvious need, she did not need to get so wrapped up in it emotionally by fretting and physically overworking herself.  He was reminding her that there were other things more important than seven course dinners, an immaculately clean house, and polished silver eating utensils.  He gave her permission to make sandwiches and throw chips in a bowl, bring out the paper plates, plastic cutlery & paper cups, and provide ice for sweet tea and soda.  All she needed to do was take care of the necessities:  open her heart and her home, ensure there was/is toilet paper in the bathrooms, and then let Him be the center of attention!

Can you do that?  Can you simplify whatever it is that keeps you so busy, so worried, or so exhausted that you could have more quality time with the Lord? 

God doesn’t care what we look like, how dirty we are, or if our teeth are brushed.  We do not have to dress a certain way, speak in a special Biblical code or assume a specific posture.

All God wants from us is ourselves.  He wants us to come into His presence so He can talk to us.  He wants to visit with us.  He wants us to share our lives with Him.  He wants us to hear Him.  He wants us to have a conversation with Him, interact with Him.

Will you do that?  Will you open your heart to Him so that you can hear Him when He speaks to you?  Once you hear Him, will you follow, obey, and worship Him?  Will you praise Him? Adore Him? Love Him?

He loved us so much He died on the cross for our sins.  He had mercy on us.  He forgave us.  He redeemed us.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 (KJV)

In response to all He has done for us, should we not spend as much time as possible with Him, sitting at His feet?


Journaling Bee

I am a retired Christian wife and mother with a passion for reading, journaling, and sewing/quilting. As part of my ministry, I feel called to be an "encourager" and as such, decided to share some of my journaling experiences with the hopes that it would offer comfort, compassion, and encouragement.

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