Too Busy to Listen

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

“… I preferred to be busy even though I had little time to spend with my husband or our two grown children.  But that didn’t bother me since they were also busy.

“After my accident and surgery, I was confined to bed for a number of weeks.  At night I slept fitfully because of the pain and prayer seemed to be the only thing that brought me peace.  I finally learned to listen to God’s voice.

”The Voice asked, ‘Why are you so busy?  What are you doing in your busyness?  What are you living for?’

“I felt indignant and replied, ‘I am helping your children, these college students, Lord.  You put me in this position.  I am busy for You!’

“Gently, God showed me that my busyness was motivated by me, not God.  I had kept myself busy serving for many years but I had no time for praising, adoring, and listening.  Like Martha in the Bible, I had scurried around doing much for God.  Now I know He didn’t want my work, He wanted my devotion, affection, and love.”

  • Caroline C. Wilson, The Simplicity of Service, A devotion in God’s Abundance, edited by Kathy Collard Miller

Can I end this post by simply saying, “Guilty?”  I have done a lot for God without time left for praising, adoring, etc.  I was too busy doing.  I had no time for being – being a friend of Jesus.

I have especially been lax when it comes to listening.

I see people making the same mistake that I have made, and I think that I should stop them.  God has told me to back off at times.  Even if I tripped them as they hurry from one busy activity to the next busy activity, they must realize themselves that they are busy for the wrong reasons – in their own time and in their own way.  God got my attention; he will get their attention.

I think someone had a title of their blog recently, “Don’t Do, Be!”  Be more like Jesus, and slow down.  Spend time in prayer, especially the listening part.  But don’t make your quiet time a time to complete another list of things, just be in God’s presence.  If God fills you to the point of overflowing, you might do something spontaneous, but reserve this time alone with God for being, being a better you, being with God.  Worship and adore Him in the moment.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

10 Comments

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  1. I’ve been around a lot of busy Marthas, including my mother. I wish more congregations would find ways to recognize the Marys–services in which Christians worship God and are fed by his promises, uninterrupted by announcements of all the other activities that groups in the congregation are doing. J.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. God has been speaking to me about this very thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May we learn to not be so busy and miss the main thing or worst undermine the main thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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