Scrolling through Pinterest, as I attempt to create some resemblance of “me time” (what is that anyway?); I stumble across this witty pin. I am quite infatuated with these, often comical, black and white message boards, maybe because they really remind me of Sunday school felt boards- can I get an AMEN or because they say the most brilliant things, and I wish I could think them up! I took a quick screen shot, saved the pin to my ever-clever board “show me a sign”, snort/laughed sarcastically under my breath and drifted off to quick slumber. So much for my “me time”!
A few days later, in a caffeine deprived, sleepy eyed state, I opened my bible to get me some Jesus! Completely oblivious to the WOW moment about to strike straight from heaven! The scripture that day was of Mary and Martha; sisters, most likely best friends and even better friendemies. This emphasis added truth became very apparent to me as I read the juicy documented “brawl” recanted in the book of Mark. You see, in my mind, Mary is type B personality. Absolutely nothing ruffles her feathers, no deadlines drain her peace, she is simply happy. Happy being alive and it would take an atomic bomb kinda of day to cause even the tiniest wake. I know this personality type well, because my daughter is a classic B. I… on the other hand, am NOT. I, like Martha, am A type personality. EVERYTHING ruffles our feathers. Deadlines define our days, as soon as, our eyes open. We are driven by an eternal fear of failure chasing us down, so we try to outperform, outwit, out do, everyone. Including ourselves.
In this story, we see these personalities on stage, showing us exactly why they cannot live in harmony. Martha and Mary both know Jesus is coming over to visit. Jesus! Like the real Jesus! He is coming to have dinner at their house, to eat off their dinnerware, to sit on their furniture, to eat their food. While they are both ecstatic (who wouldn’t be, it’s Jesus!)- a dramatic variation of subject focus occurs. After Jesus’ arrival, Mary… stays fixed on the excitement of the guest. She is zoomed in on gleaning every ounce, of every word, He will speak. She sits crisscross applesauce, at His feet, transfixed as unbeknownst to her, Martha’s blood boils. Martha peers from the hot kitchen, her focus pointed, obviously, on ALL that must be done. An immediate “to do” list took precedence, the second she was informed He would be visiting. And now, she spotlights what must be cleaned, what must be cooked, what must be served and the fact that her sister, is NOT HELPING HER! She is no longer focused on the splendor of Jesus, no longer worried about the honorary guest. Rather, she has allowed her heart to target the wrong object. Staring down the barrel of what must be completed, missing the mark entirely.
As I trek through the passage, I am absolutely appalled! The nerve of this woman! How did she not realize the importance of this moment? How could she not see? Then just like that, like a fluorescent arrow at a road side stop, blinking, clicking, begging for me to stop, I remember the screen shot from the night before. While the simple sign is still quite hilarious, it offers a stinging blow. Magically, it had transformed and was now a mirror (like the ones in the Target dressing rooms, where you can see EVERYTHING, from EVERY angle) and I could clearly see, the reflection of Martha staring back at me.
Right on cue, in perfect timing, the sweet nudge of Holy Spirit, softly reminds me how often my focus is amiss. Like Martha, I too allow the distraction of “important” to drown the blessing of “most important.” The vexing tug of to-do lists, deadlines, perfection snatching my attention from what really matters. Then the words of Jesus, drop as a thud, into my heart, “Martha (Candace), Martha (Candace), you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and I will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41”