A MaryAnn in a Martha World…

Mary and Martha

Warning: You might want to get a beverage first.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 38-42, NIV

It took me a long time to understand that most people, when reading or hearing this Scripture, identify with Martha and are a little stunned to hear Jesus chastise Martha. I am not most people. Perhaps my parents knew, instinctively, that I was much more like Mary and thus, gave me her name as part of mine. Now, for the record, I completely understand that the world needs “Marthas.” In fact sometimes I can almost pull off a good “Martha impression.” But, that is not who I am.

I almost always have my head “in the clouds.” I am dreaming, thinking, analyzing, planning, and “writing” constantly, constantly in my head. I live in my head. Thus, I generally do not notice that my house needs dusting, sweeping, cleaning and that my guests might like to be fed after several hours at my home. When you live in your head, it just doesn’t need a whole lot of dusting very often. Yes, there are a few cobwebs up there, but the cobwebs usually connect all the disjointed and diverse ideas in my head, so they’re actually helpful.

Would I like to be more of a Martha? Oh, my goodness, YES! Because Marys have a very bad reputation in our world. Marthas are much more often appreciated by society. Marys generally are very messy, irresponsible, insensitive, spacey little critters (or so it appears to the world). But, Marthas are organized, tidy, clean, thoughtful, generous and perfect hostesses. They are the ones who show up at all events with their kids perfectly clothed, perfectly coiffed, and perfectly mannered.

So, given this perception, why on God’s green earth would Jesus praise Mary and not Martha??? Because Mary figured out something while her sister was busy thinking about cooking and cleaning and entertaining…that she probably wasn’t going to have too many opportunities to hear Jesus speak in her very own home and she shouldn’t miss that opportunity. In other words Mary decided her relationship with Jesus was far more important than doing something FOR Jesus.

I cannot tell you how often I do what Martha did–I think that the way to improve my relationship with Jesus is to do stuff for Him and for his people. But, the other night I suddenly woke up at 2:45 am (Why does God keep doing this to me???) and God decided it was time to have a “conversation” with MaryAnn that was, quite frankly, unprecedented. In most of my “conversations” with God (my prayers), I do all the talking. If you know me personally, you know this is no big surprise. This time I ventured one (in my head) question to the Heavens above, and a still, small voice (still in my head) immediately answered with a very un-MaryAnn-like answer. Cue the Twilight Zone music.

I have long suspected that my little blog may never be “popular” with others. But, I still feel very “convicted” that I should keep writing it. During this unusual convo, I asked God, “If I’m supposed to write this blog, Lord, but it’s never going to reach many people, why do You want me to write it?’ He replied quietly, “Because I love you and so you and I can be together.” Tears streamed down my face. After all these years in “Christendom,” you’d think I would have figured out that my relationship with God comes first with Him and everything else is secondary. And you’d think I also would have figured out that I should feel the same way about that relationship. But, I had thought, quite mistakenly, that I had to do something for God (Of course, it has to be something important!) in order to demonstrate my faith in Him and my desire to be with Him. I felt hugely ashamed by my silly, faulty thinking, particularly because I tend to identify more with Mary in this story and not with Martha.

So, to all of my messy Mary friends and family, guess what? We really don’ t have to pick up after ourselves to be good Christians (Let’s be honest–we’re too busy reading Christian books and listening to  Mandisa anyway.) And to my Martha friends and family? Sit down. Take a load off. Get silent…really silent. And let God do the talking. He just wants to spend time with you because He thinks you’re really cool…even if you do clean too much. 🙂

Point to Ponder Challenge: When’s the last time you scheduled time just to further develop your relationship with God? How about an entire weekend? I plan to attend the Dallas Women of Faith conference this September to work on this. Want to join me? Great! Send me an email via the Contact page. You’re a guy??? Then, how about a guys’ weekend with the Ultimate Guy? Go here for more info: http://www.promisekeepers.org/

Tomorrow’s Post: Are you going places?

You might also like: Absolutely, It’s All About the Splash, Think You Don’t Have What It Takes to Change the World…Think Again, Just Because She’s Her, Lessons Learned from a 9 Year Old 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 at 6:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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