The handmade sign read: “Expect considerable delays. Due to equipment failure we are down to one machine. Wait time will be affected. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
Hmm. After a brief pause to consider how I should respond, I pulled my car into the line behind at least six others. Two more pulled in behind me. I guess that proves it. Coffee really is that important.
I – and many others it seems – was willing to sacrifice precious time to wait for my morning latte. Even with tasks waiting for me at the office. I wanted it that much. Do I care that much about spending time with God? I’ll sit in a drive-thru for twenty minutes to pay four dollars for espresso and milk, but hesitate to give up half an hour of sleep to tarry longer in God’s presence.
Why is that? For starters I’m a product of my environment. I bought into our harried, must-have-it-now, self-indulgent culture. But an even bigger problem is that my desire for God is just not great enough. My priorities are out of order.
I’ve got some things in common with a friend of Jesus’ we read about in Luke 10:38-42. You know the story. Siblings, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, welcomed Jesus into their home. (Actually Scripture says Martha opened her home to Him.) While Martha scurried about cooking dinner and getting the guest room ready, her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet soaking up His every word. Martha complained. There was much to do, Mary should be helping. However, Jesus lovingly pointed out to Martha that she had her priorities out of order.
It’s not that Martha was busy with wrong, evil, or even unimportant things. After all, she was preparing food for Jesus. But, spending time with Jesus was more important – and better. Unfortunately, we often chose the pressing over the important and the better.
Poor Martha. We always hold her up as an example of what not to do. But let’s look at the rest of Martha’s story. Later, near the end of Jesus’ ministry, Martha had another encounter with Him we read about in John 11:17-27. Jesus arrived in Bethany four days after Martha’s brother Lazarus died. When Martha met Jesus on the road, He engaged her in a conversation about the resurrection. When Jesus asked Martha if she believed in Him she replied, “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world (John 11:27).”
Wow! Martha made an overwhelming profession of faith about Jesus. The only other one made before Jesus’ death and resurrection that even compares is Peter’s. Apparently Martha took Jesus’ earlier rebuke to heart. Martha must have spent some time getting to know Jesus. Her confession reveals some first-hand knowledge about Jesus.
Psalm 46:10 decorates the wall of my home office. Be still and know that I am God. Unfortunately, I’m usually moving too much to know Him as well as I should. Too many other things are more important than they should be. And I know just what Jesus would say. Kathy, Kathy, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed (Luke 10:41-