One of the Bible stories that has stuck with me most this past year is the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).
It tells the story of two sisters who have Jesus over for dinner.
Mary’s just hanging out with Jesus in the living room and Martha is slaving away in the kitchen preparing seven layer bean dip and Oreo milkshakes (my pastor likes to pretend it was lasagna).
Martha is just banging around in the kitchen and frustrated that she can hear Jesus and Mary laughing and talking while she’s doing all the work!
Finally she bursts through the kitchen door and shouts, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40).
Jesus lovingly replies to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
At first, I thought what I was supposed to take out of this story was that we are supposed to not focus on the mundane tasks of the day and focus on the Lord, for that is what truly matters.
And, I believe that this story IS saying that; from one angle.
However, this story started to pop up in my head frequently as I was living my daily life.
And not in a good way; but rather in a mocking or even judgmental way.
As I was rushing through the few hours after work (when I still had energy left) making two different dinners (one toddler, one husband), doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, bathing the toddler, watching Elmo with the toddler, all before my “ticking time bomb” (aka toddler) crashes at 6:30PM (me shortly behind him), this verse would story in my head and say things like:
“You’re not giving your son enough time if you’re running around like this.
Remember Martha in the kitchen?”
Attacking my ability and capacity to be a good parent.
“How can you even cook in this kitchen? Your husband was home for three hours today and it’s a mess! Doesn’t he care about you? Why should you cook him dinner if he can’t even do dishes?
Remember Martha in the kitchen?”
Attacking my husband and my relationship with him.
After awhile I said, “enough!”
As the saying goes, “If it sounds like judgement/condemnation/guilt it is NOT God.”
So, I opened up my Bible and went straight to the source to find out what God wanted ME to get from this story.
As I was reading I had a revelation.
Jesus wasn’t just in the living room with Mary; He was also in the kitchen with Martha.
We know that we have an omnipresent (always everywhere) God.
And, if Martha wasn’t so busy grumbling about what she was doing, she maybe would have seen that.
See, God made “Marys” and God also made “Marthas.”
It wasn’t that Martha was “ignoring” Jesus (heck, she was whipping up Oreo milkshakes!)
It was that Martha’s head wasn’t in the game.
It’s not about what you do; it’s how you do it.
I have come a long way in enjoying the moment, but I can tell you right now, I will probably always be a Martha.
I enjoy making delicious dinners for my husband and son that devour.
I enjoy having a clean house and even cleaning (I know I’m a total weirdo).
I enjoy knowing that my small household chores provide a clean and safe home.
I enjoy being a working parent. I really do.
As long as I am doing everything for the Glory of God, I am good. J
P.S. / SIDENOTE:
The devil has read the Bible.
As you get stronger in your faith; He has to get sneakier to get your attention.
If you read the story where Jesus was tempted by Satan, you will find that Satan quotes scripture several times.
This is why you have to be reeeeeaaaaallllllllyyyyyy careful in discerning what is God and what is not.
Just because a Bible verse/story/song pops in your head, make sure that the message behind it is love and nothing but; because that is ALL God wants to say to you.