It wasn't Jesus' mother I was thinking of as I dashed around the kitchen in preparation for friends this afternoon; or as I was whipping biscuits out of the oven last night just prior to a meeting. It was Mary, Jesus' friend, who just sat down and chilled out with him. Years ago someone asked me whether I was Mary or Martha and I said both. A clever answer I thought- be busy AND spend some time with God...
Truth is, the Martha bit comes more easily- I love it when people come over- I like them to be comfortable and feel easy without tripping over toys or worse... I like giving them food and drink, and somewhere in the back of my head there is a twinge of pride at my "gift of hospitality"...
But what did Jesus actually say? "Martha you are worried and upset by many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."
Only one thing is needed.
So I want to revise my thinking. I want to be Mary- through and through. Not worried and upset by "preparations". Not resentful with God at giving me no rest from my busy work for Him. In reality this kind of work was never His, but mine. I don't think he wants us working for Him at all- just being with Him. God is single minded in His desire for us- heart, soul, mind and strength. The greatest commandment.
I share these ponderings because this is the season for practical preparations in which we find ourselves duty bound to spend hours and hours toiling at. But only one thing is needed. Mary chose the better way- so dare we compromise? Dare we give away even part of our inner being to worries and upset?
Mary made it look so simple.
Maybe it is.