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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 all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
I remember when my daughter, Faith, was turning two-years-old. I was all stressed out trying to get the house ready while trying to figure out how to make the Winnie the Pooh cake actually look like Winnie the Pooh. I also remember my husband telling me to relax. He said, “It’s just a birthday party,” but I was young, lacking patience, and focusing on my stress rather than the fact that Faith was turning two. I haven’t enjoyed a lot of wonderful moments and memories because I was caught up in the details of making cakes, mixing the punch, and dusting picture frames. Fortunately, all the details and minutia that I was trying to control eventually outnumbered me, and I had to throw in the towel.
I love how Martha, like me, was caught up in the business, and then she went and told on her sister. “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” I never noticed before, but Martha actually told the Lord to tell Mary to help her. Did you notice the exclamation mark at the end of her demand? I’m not making fun of her, but she sure does remind me of me. Who here has told on someone else, and demanded such a thing from God? I love how Jesus responded. “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
The “many things” of our days, indeed are many. We face so many details, tasks, demands, and deadlines that we start to chase them around, as if they are our tails, until we are exhausted and angry at whomever isn’t doing all that we are doing! The busier you become, don’t you look around trying to find someone sitting down so you can get mad at them? And many times, that person who happens to be sitting down at the exact moment that you looked over at them, just happened to have finished a major chore – met a major deadline, and now they are sitting down because they have allocated the time to do so. They are making sure that there’s a little balance in their life, and we get mad at them for it. My point is that we don’t know what that person just did or what they are about to do, and it’s none of our business anyway. If we focus too much on what someone else is or isn’t doing, we will miss the blessings before us. And what if they just did nothing and they are about to do nothing? How is focusing on them helping us anyway?
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
Whatever holiday or event happens to be fast approaching, I want to challenge us to focus on the blessings, the people, and the moments and memories before us. True gifts can’t be wrapped, but they can unfold before our eyes if we notice their presence. Let us praise God and thank Him for the gift of the present, and let us remember that there is a time for everything. Things like cakes, mixing punch, and dusting picture frames will fade and pass away, but moments and memories made with those we love will last a lifetime and beyond!
There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.