It’s good to be busy especially when it comes to the things of God. Working for God is rewarding. It’s a sign of maturity and it’s a way of showing to God how much we love Him. Being eager to participate in church activities and to be present in every church event is good. Some of us might even find ourselves participating actively in several church groups because we love/want to.
However this has to be done with great caution. We can be so consumed with going to church and working for God that we forget being the church. We can be working for God but we are not walking with God. Sometimes walking with God requires us to be still. Some of us are too busy working to the point where we are now stretched and thin. We are working on empty. We do not have time to spend quiet time with God anymore so He can refill us. We are like a vehicle that need fuel. We are exhausted but we are still going. It might explain why we are not as effective as we should be. We can’t give what we don’t have. We have no ability of our own to perform. We can only rely on God for refilling.
The story of Mary and Martha in the bible is such an interesting one because traditional, Martha was doing what needed to be done. Martha wanted Jesus who was the guest to have something to eat and drink like most of us will do today. Martha was serving. Martha cared about her guest. She was compassionate. She had good intentions.
Mary on the other hand, did the opposite. If Mary was in my house when i was growing up, my mum would have asked if she wasn’t going to find prepare something for her guest to eat. I like the way the bible puts it. It says “Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.”
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
I see sitting at someone’s feet as a sign of humility. No one knows what Mary has being doing prior to Jesus’ arrival but she knew that every second she spent with her master was important. She valued His presence more than the activities that was going on around her. She knew running on empty will do her no good. She knew that if she was to impact her world, she needed to draw strength from Jesus. And the only way to get this strength was by sitting at His feet and listening as she drew from Jesus’ well of wisdom.
Listening is a big part. Some of us the only time we sit at Jesus’ feet is when we have a to-do-list for Him. We do all the talking and rush out even before we allow Him speak to us. Sometimes we rush out of His presence to go and do things we feel are good because they are kingdom activities. Our minds are clouded with activities and events to organise or attend. We are always busy. We continue to cut down the amount of time we spend with God alone just to accommodate our busy schedule.
The devil is tricking us to think that so long we are sacrificing our quiet time to accommodate other religious activities it is ok. After all we are doing it for God. This can be very dangerous. If we continue being like Martha, we will end up as empty vessels. This is when we are unable to impact lives anymore because we have nothing to give.
Martha was distracted with her service. Are we being distracted with our service to God? Are we working for God or walking with God? These two are two different things. You can be working for God and not be walking with God. However you cannot walk with God and not work for Him.
“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” Luke 10:42