But Martha was distracted with all her preparations.. Luke 10:40
I find myself relating to this passage more than I would like to admit. I would love to say that the reason that I struggle with distraction is due to the busyness of the Christmas season, but the truth is my struggle with distraction is not a seasonal issue. It is a constant struggle. My husband will tell you I am like a squirrel with a cup of coffee in my hand!
Martha was distracted. Why? Because she was trying to get dinner prepared for Jesus and the rest of her family. Martha’s distraction almost seems legitimate…until you do some digging. The phrase “was distracted” actually is a greek word “perispao” which means to drag around something that cumbers. So what cumbersome thing was Martha dragging around? Her preparations for her dinner with Jesus and her family. Was there really a need for Martha to do all the preparations for dinner? No.
Martha had forgotten who was in her home…Jesus. The one man who is able to feed 5,000 plus people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and then on another day feed 4,000 more people all at the snap of a finger. He could whip out a meal that would keep there bellies and freezers full for months, so was Martha’s fuss with preparing dinner really that important? No, but Martha thought it was.
I don’t know what was going on in Martha’s head but I can take a guess. I think that it was easier for her to stay distracted with her “preparations” than it was to just sit at the feet of Jesus- and get nourished by the bread of life. Maybe Martha felt distant from Jesus and thought that by serving Him she would show her love and devotion to Him. Either way Martha was upset with her sister Mary because she was not helping with all of the preparations but Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away.” Mary chose the good part that would nourish, benefit and profit her. The “good part” was just sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking up every word from His mouth.
What is the best way to grow in a relationship with someone? Communication, vulnerability and time spent getting to know each other. These three things are essential to a healthy growing relationship. Mary understood this and there was nothing that was going to get in the way of her time with Jesus. Martha had the same invitation from Jesus, but something kept her from taking Jesus up on His offer. Maybe it was the fear of vulnerability, maybe it was jealousy because she didn’t feel her relationship with Jesus was as good as Mary’s relationship with Him, I don’t know. But I do know that Martha let her distractions rob her of an intimate moment with her savior.
So what are the distractions that are robbing you from sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking up His word? I confess my distraction is my “to-do” list. Daily I am tempted to cut my time short with God because I just have so much I have to get done- or so I think. Maybe your distraction is work, or fear, or pride, or anger and bitterness, or your social life, or feelings of unworthiness. I don’t know what the distraction is that cumbers you and drags you down, but I know that you and I were not created to live in bondage to any cumbersome thing. You and I were created to live an abundant life of freedom. That life of freedom begins by sitting in the presence of God and soaking up His words and letting those words minister to your weary soul. You are only one choice away from either sitting in His presence and being filled or being worn thin with distractions.
To be continued…