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
“We have a choice. (We always do.) We can worry or we can worship! Strangely enough, busy people find it a whole lot easier to worry than to worship. When we worry, we feel we are still in control, even if we are worrying about things that are out of our control. At least we feel we are doing something about the situation. We are worrying!”
- Jill Briscoe, Let God do the Worrying, a devotion in God’s Abundance, edited by Kathy Collard Miller
I read the statement about how we can worry or we can worship, and it reminded me of an old fishing joke.
The game warden went out with his friend onto the lake in his friend’s small john boat. He had heard rumors, but he liked the guy. He wanted to find out if the rumors were true. When they got to the middle of the lake, the game warden’s friend pulled out a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it over the side of the boat. After the explosion, a bunch of dead fish floated to the surface.
The game warden was shocked that the rumors were true. He goes into a long lecture about how his friend cannot do that. It’s illegal! His friend gets out another stick of dynamite, lights it, and hands it to the game warden, saying, “Are you gonna argue or fish?”
We are faced with the same dilemma. We only have a short amount of time on earth, some a little longer than others, but a lot shorter than the expanse of recorded history. We spend time sleeping, eating, and working to do the living stuff. But do we really live? Do we spend time doing what God wants us to do?
The author mentions in her devotion that Martha could have done a simple meal instead of the elaborate seven-course meal (a little assumption there). That way, she could spend time with Jesus also. Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. He could take care of this small crowd easily. But Martha was upset when Mary did not sacrifice her time with Jesus also. Of course, with Martha in charge.
Sometimes, seven-course meals are a good thing. Some of my best memories of dining in Germany include the two times that we were invited to the French Army Officer’s Club for formal dining. One course was served, we enjoyed what was served, then the dishes were gathered. The next course was served, we enjoyed what was served, then the dishes were gathered. And on and on, eating for a couple of hours. I was on a diet, that was similar to the modern keto diet, on my second dinner there. I was teased about how I could not enjoy the meal like they could, but I said that I had been on the diet long enough. I had been counting the carbohydrates and calories all night. Besides, I did not eat anything all day in anticipation. This prompted a roar of laughter, but they were really jealous. I had lost a lot of weight by then.
But if Jesus was being served a seven-course meal that night, Martha was extremely busy, for more than a couple of hours. For what purpose? And what was she missing in the meantime?
I asked if we spend time doing what God wants us to do. The biggest “to-do” on God’s list is to have a relationship with God Himself. That takes some serious time at the feet of Jesus. Leave the worrying to God. He is the one in control anyway.
This morning, I posted a story about a boy who started writing nonsense, since people liked it. For those that love Jesus, the world and its temptations are the nonsense. Knowing more about Jesus is true wisdom. Now, my Deviled Yeggs stories are, indeed, pure nonsense, and meant to be.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.