Have you ever heard people at church talking about going on mission trips, the thirteen small groups they’re in, and how they’ve somehow managed to make it on to all 123 days of prayer? Then thought to yourself, “Well they’re just a better Christian than I am”. Same, and I tried really hard to be that “better Christian” before I realized there’s no such thing. I’ve been serving at the church since my very first Sunday attending. I don’t think there was a Sunday I was there that I haven’t served. I tried to serve throughout the week, on my days off, between meetings at work, and driving home. I became consumed with what I was doing and not who I was doing it for.
In Luke 10, Jesus was traveling and met sisters Mary and Martha. Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said”, and Martha was, “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made”. The word used for “the preparations” means, “serving”. Martha was so distracted serving Jesus she forgot the importance of being with Jesus. While it’s easy to judge Martha, the truth is I was Martha, and many of us find ourselves ending up the same way. Servitude may not be your distraction, but distraction, one way or another, is ever present and can easily become an avenue for distance in our relationship with Jesus. Distractions can be anything from friendships to career goals. Not all of these are bad, they just shouldn’t be worshiped. It can be hard to recognize how much distance you’ve gained, but one way to gauge where you are in that relationship is to pay attention to your train of thought and see where it goes. Are you fixated by someone you follow on Instagram and constantly thinking about how to make your life more like theirs? Are you still focused on work on a Sunday morning? Your priorities will quickly become evident when you stop to listen to them.
Putting Jesus first is something to be worked towards, our distractions are loud and will drown out His words if we let them. Martha came to Jesus saying, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Jesus responded, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things matter, indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Martha went to Jesus. She may have been distracted and preoccupied, but she went to Jesus. Stop what you’re doing and go to Jesus. When Mary stopped to listen, she was simultaneously going against the cultural norms that would have had her making preparations with Martha. Jesus transcends our cultural norms, our relationships, our ambitions because when we go to Him, he will become the lens through which we see everything else.
Melanie Floresca is Blog Writer and member of the Manassas Campus Prayer Team. She works as a job coach for individuals with disabilities and has been spending her quarantine cooking, crafting, and writing letters to as many people as she can.
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