Luke 10:38-42 ESV
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
As we walked door to door, telling those who would listen about how much we cared for them, but more importantly how much there is a God in heaven who cares for them, I found myself frustrated. I found myself distant from the one I was preaching about. I found myself saying things that I knew were right, but yet its meaning was far from my heart. The message was true but I was unable to enjoy the joy of the message.
I realized that I had placed myself in the same place as Martha: “distracted with much serving.” I found myself running to “serve God” instead of running to sit at his feet. Serving God obviously isn’t a bad thing but it can easily being mistaken for spending time with God, which the story of Mary and Martha so clearly differentiates. When we don’t spend time like Mary to sit at the feet of Jesus, we, like Martha, will often find ourselves struggling to find joy and contentment in the work we have been called to do.
The people we are called to serve don’t want our empty words. They need more than just a physical screening. They need to encounter the love of God. But if we become so “distracted with serving” that we don’t take the time reconnect with the true source of love, we’ll soon find ourselves running on empty and going nowhere. We’ll find ourselves giving people the fruit of our labor instead of the fruit of the Spirit.
Soon, I made some time to step back from my responsibilities to catch up with God. After sitting at the feet of Jesus, even though only for a little while, my heart was strengthened, my joy was returned. Things were the way it should be. I had tasted once again how good our God is and was excited to tell others about how awesome He is.
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