Thursday, May 16, 2019

Living Mary in a Martha World

I think there are two kinds of people in the world.

Marthas and Marys.

Do you remember the story of Jesus' friends in Bethany? Lazarus, Mary and Martha were great friends of Jesus and he would stop at their house for a meal and conversation with his friends.

Martha was the hostess with the "mostest" and wanted to make sure things were just so. She was a flurry of activity cooking, serving and washing up.

But Mary only wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus and feast on every word he said.

You know what happens when you keep a pace of flurry and hurry? You get tired.

And when you are tired? Cranky can't be far behind.

So, Martha does what she thought was a reasonable thing. She goes to Jesus to ask him to make Mary help her.

Jesus was so wise! His answer kept peace between the sisters and yet praised Mary's choice.

In the many times I had heard this story, I had never noticed before that Mary said nothing.

Perhaps when we've been at Jesus' feet, we are empowered to keep our mouths shut, and let Jesus speak up for us. I can imagine any other sister would have risen up in indignation at Martha's words!

Here's the thing: God loves both the Marys and the Marthas. 

It takes both. If we never had a Martha, nothing would get done. But a Martha without a Mary spirit and heart will soon get burnt out from all the doing.

I think the ideal is for each of us to have components of each personality. Yes, it is better to sit at Jesus’ feet, but if we are always taking in, and not giving out, we became fat and bloated and barely able to move.

I think it should be a continual process of sitting at Jesus feet with our spirit but being busy accomplishing things with our body. It’s sort of like what Brother Lawrence wrote in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, we invite the presence of God even while we are doing tasks. We're feasting on the marvelous while doing the mundane.

I also think there should be TIMES of just sitting at His feet with nothing to distract. Of course, that is the better part, as Jesus said, and things learned at His feet can never be taken away from us.

But there is always a time for action, too. Being mature in the Lord is knowing when to do each!

It leads back to a main principle, trusting the Good Shepherd to taking care of our every need.

Giving your problem to the Shepherd is freeing! How much lighter you feel when you say, “I don’t have to worry about that. That’s in the Shepherd’s hands and it’s HIS problem to take care of.

Imagine if we could get to the point where we roll EVERY burden, every concern, onto the yoke of Jesus? If we are truly able to do that, how light, how free, we would feel.

Another analogy is the idea of God piloting our vessel. Can we hand over the controls of our life to our Pilot, and let Him lead, let Him guide? Is that even possible in this life to fully do that? It can, if you've spent time at the Pilot's feet

Is that what this life is for a Christian? Learning to fully hand over the reins of this life I’m driving and trust Him to turn it into the paths He has laid out?

You might say, well then, I’m a robot, and I have no say. But the whole reason He made us was to have fellowship with beings that CHOOSE to love Him and serve Him.

Perhaps it’s more like I’m driving this vehicle but at every twist and turn, I ask the Lord what He wants me to do and where He wants me to go – and then I obey. And when it looks like He is telling me to go to slow or take a detour, I trust Him. And when it feels like we are going dizzyingly fast and taking hairpin curves on two wheels, I trust Him.

And eventually, we’ll get Home.


ellen b. said...

My lessons in life have been to be more of a Mary for sure since Martha comes easier for me.

Faith said...

love it! being a martha is easy for me as I'm a bit OCD but being a Mary is something I am intentional about .....more so now than when i was a younger Believer.

loved this post!!

Linda Stoll said...

Sometimes I feel very Martha ... and other times more like Mary.

I'm guessing I'm in good company ...

~Karrilee~ from Abiding Love, Abounding Grace said...

Ah yes... I tend to be more of a Mary but I think we all have our Martha-ways! And I agree... we need both --and have access to both! said...

I love this story, I've written a lot about it. I stay Mary now, practicing His presence, I was Martha, people pleaser, too long. Sometimes, now. I cook just for me. I think I was both too, and that is hard. We will find release when we break the alabaster box at His feet.

Jennifer said...

Thankful for some maturity (experience and, yes, years!) in order to better know when and how each is necessary. It definitely was harder when I was younger. (Also getting better at knowing when not to speak up!):)

Susanne said...

I have never noticed before in the Mary/Martha story that Mary didn't say anything. How very interesting. I lean more toward the Martha side but I'm learning to balance it.