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The Mary and Martha in you

Absentmindedness is a work hazard of a writer.

When plotting a novel, I actually drove ten miles in the wrong direction, sent my husband to work with an empty thermos, and microwaved my parrot’s birdseed!

My family knows that just because I’m looking at them saying, “Uh-huh,” doesn’t mean I’m hearing them. I have to say things like, “I’m zoning in. Here I am. Go on.” The more busy and distracted we are, the more important it is to spend time with the Lord.

In the Bible, Luke 10, Jesus and his disciples visit sisters Mary and Martha. Martha busies herself taking care of her guests. Mary sits at the feet of Jesus and listens. When Martha complains about the laziness of Mary, Jesus tells her that Mary has chosen what is better. The “Mary” in us wants to sit at His feet, but the “Martha” in us whines long and loud.

We all struggle with the balance of developing our relationship with God and doing His will. Usually we think of people as being a “Mary” or a “Martha,” but there’s a little “Mary” and “Martha” in each of us.

Here are some things to remember when we pray: He is worthy of our undivided time. He paid a high price so we can come before Him. He is our Lord, our to-do list isn’t. We are dependent on Him to accomplish anything of lasting value. Trying to do His will without His direction is self defeating.

We say we don’t have time to spend in Bible study and prayer. And we really don’t, because it is our not praying that causes the time crunch. Here are some things that happen because we don’t pray: We miss His direction, causing us to make unwise choices which can waste time and resources. We damage relationships, and it takes time to mend broken hearts. We become depressed and sick and waste time on doctors, therapists and medicine, and more time to make the money to pay for them. We don’t have the discernment to say that magic word “no,” and we end up frazzled by all of the extra projects. We spend time helping others with calamities that could have been prevented in prayer. We become consumed by the unimportant, and we miss many blessings of God that saves us time and trouble.

Some practical things you can do to hush Martha long enough for Mary to spend time with the Lord are: Set a specific time and place to pray. Spend the allotted time with the Lord whether your mind wanders or not. Read the Word of God and stand against opposing thoughts. When the to-do’s pop into your head, write them down then deal with them later; sometimes God whispers in your heart what He wants you to do. Keep a journal of prayers and insights. Get a prayer partner. Be tenacious. When we let the Mary in us spend time at the feet of Jesus, the Martha in us will be well equipped to serve Him.

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