The story of Mary and Martha presents a common conflict in perspective. Martha has invited Jesus into her home. While she is engaged, and distracted, in serving the many guests, her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to Him teach. Probably out of frustration, Martha appeals to Jesus to get Mary to help her to serve and host. Instead Jesus uses the moment to instruct Martha, addressing the many things that Martha is anxious and troubled about, and declaring that Mary had chosen ‘the good portion’.
Often we can be so involved in the busyness of life that we can miss out on the times that God is near. Jesus had chosen to enter Mary and Martha’s house, to spend time in their home. To Martha, this meant tasks of hospitality, and the chores that are required to honor a guest. To Mary, this meant spending time close to Jesus.
Life can be a balancing act of relationships and responsibilities. Fulfilling our obligations and providing and taking care of our loved ones must be balanced with spending quality relationship time with those who are close to us. It is no different with the Lord. Although Martha was serving those who had entered her house, and probably in her mind was fulfilling her role, she had missed out on the fact that this was actually an appointed time to sit at Jesus’ feet and spend time close to Him.
Our relationship with God can not only be acts of service. We are not called to serve a God we don’t really know or hear from. Jesus bled and died so that we could be re-united with God in a close and personal way. We must always be sensitive to the times when the Lord is calling us away from the affairs of life, or even the affairs of service to Him, and calling us to be close to Him, to sit at His feet and simply listen to His voice. This is the good portion, and it will not be denied to them who find it precious. Today, may the Lord call you to a closeness with Him, and may He share with you great and mighty things that you do not know!