Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The better part not the only part

One of those questions I want to ask God is why we human beings always want binary choices, either this or that. This AND that seems much harder for us to deal with.

Today is the memorial of St. Martha. Everyone seems ready to say who are the Martha's and who are the Mary's. In reality we should all be both. The verse reads

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Notice Mary hasn't chosen the only part or the only acceptable part. She has simply chosen the better part.

Saturday morning I weeded my flower beds. I love the visible sense of accomplishment, a tangible result. But which was the better part: the time I spent doing that or the time I spent in prayer?

If we sat around in prayer, meditation, and reading the bible all day our lives would collapse. We have to be Martha. We all have to be Martha. But we should never let the Martha take over our lives or believe that the Martha is the better part.

The most important thing I do each day is pray. I start each day with God and I sitting on the porch having coffee.

It should be the Mary that drives the Martha. Our prayer should guide our action. But the Martha is essential. Faith without works is empty. Unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, cooking dinner, the most mundane things in life- but they are all essential, and they are all ministry if done in the Spirit.

The problem most of us have is not the working part of Martha, it is where Jesus starts,

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

If we truly believe that prayer is the most important thing we can do each day, then why be anxious and worried? Why be anxious and worried at all. What did anxiety and worry ever accomplish? It only shortens our lives. Mostly it shortens our earthly life, but if we let it interfere with our relationship with God, it can even rob us of eternal life. Anxiety and worry serve no purpose.

Today be Martha. Be Martha every day. Care for others. Be hospitable. Get your work done. But remember, no matter how much you do, it is never the better part of your day. The better part is always the one on one time with God.