We live in a busy world with so many “good” options. There are so many silent and loud invitations to do this or do that. Come here or go there. Be this or be that. And so on and so on. Often times, it’s the “good” things or “right” things that keep us going the most. It’s good to volunteer. It’s good to exercise. It’s good to eat. Still, good things can become stumbling blocks. Often times they do.
Volunteering is good, until it becomes performance & people pleasing. Exercising is good until it becomes an unhealthy obsession. Eating is good, until it becomes a coping mechanism during difficult times. Becoming busy with good deeds is all too easy.
Consider Martha. Luke chapter ten tells the story of Mary and Martha. In the story, Mary is seated at the feet of Jesus. Martha is stressing over the big dinner she’s preparing. Obviously, preparing dinner is not a “bad” thing. Still, at some point dinner preparation became a negative problem for Martha.
“She [Martha] came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” (Luke 10:40 NLT)
I wont attempt to unfold what I think Martha was feeling or experiencing. I’ll just say that she seemed a bit distraught—and while doing a seemly good thing. Martha didn’t realize it at the time, but she needed to regroup. Take a deep breath, Martha. Clear your mind. Ask yourself, what’s the one thing that really matters here?
We have all been Martha—caught-up while doing good and failing to realize that good is never good enough. But Jesus. He saw what Martha didn’t see. What you and I often do not see in the middle of being busy.
“The Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her.” (Luke 10:41 NLT)
I have this idea that Jesus’ words set Martha free that day. Free from being overly involved in doing the right things, the good things. In my mind, from that day forward she didn’t stop doing good things. She simply did them as best she could and left the rest to Jesus, as He is the “one thing.”
Let us not lose focus of the “one thing” in the midst of all our good doings. Do your good. Do it for the right reason. And when you have finished, like Mary, take your seat and rest.