Martha's Multi-Tasking Mistake

Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

Martha's Multi-Tasking Mistake

by Elsje Zornes | April 4, 2014

It doesn’t take a very in-depth look at most women’s lives to come to the conclusion that we are excellent “multi-taskers”. Most of us have our plates full, and balancing it all has become second nature to us. We’ve become very good at filling our schedules and running from the one thing to the next; and even feeling a sense of pride or accomplishment at the many things we juggle in our daily lives. Women, in general, just love to get stuff done.

 
Crossing things off our task-list might prove very rewarding, and it is indeed good to set to work at the task in front of you, yet, the danger of becoming so duty-driven that we neglect the more valuable things in life always lurks around the corner. We see this in the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus came into the two sisters’ home to share a meal with them. Martha, who most probably was a multi-tasker extraordinaire, immediately jumped to work, and was quite disturbed at her sister’s seemingly sluggish approach to all that needed to be done. It says of Mary that she “sat at Jesus feet, and heard His word.”
 
When petitioned to address Mary, Jesus’ answer in response must have come as quite the shock! Instead of telling Mary to get up and help her sister, He declared that she had “chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 
 
Jesus' words to Martha’s chore-minded approach to life, have challenged me so many times. It seems that we would much rather be running around, cumbered about with many cares, than to simply sit at the feet of our Lord. What Martha was doing wasn’t bad; it just was not the best. Mary chose what was best. I don’t know about you, but I know how many times I’ve chosen tasks and to-do lists over sitting peacefully at the Jesus’ feet.  
 
Just this past week, after a long day of hopping from one task to the next, I collapsed in bed so excited for my head to finally meet the pillow. My husband turned to me, and with tenderness expressed that he actually had planned to take me out on a special date, simply to be with me. In my busyness I had brushed off that idea earlier in the evening, without even thinking about it again. In my defense, I had a meal to prepare, a dirty kitchen to clean, a diaper to change!! As we talked, he reminded me that he didn’t marry a clean kitchen, he married me, and although he appreciates my work, and would always help with my work, he would much more appreciate having my time and my affection. 
 
Don’t we all too often treat our relationship with Jesus that way? We’re so busy doing things for Him, that we neglect being with Him. We argue that if we take time to pray, worship,and study His Word, we won’t get other things done, instead of realizing that it is at His feet that we find the strength and energy we need for all that is before us. I think it was Martin Luther who once said that was too busy NOT to spend the best three hours of his day in prayer. Sadly, we often treat even Bible study and prayer as duties to be done, rather than an opportunity to come to know Christ more fully! Spending hours of your day, quietly and lovingly at the feet of your King, might appear to many as a waste of precious time- time that we could have used to be productive! Remember that choosing Him over all other things, is choosing the best part, and it shall not be taken away from us!