There are two parts of LUKE 10: 38-42, that speak with special insight to me. The first is Martha’s plea to You: “Tell her to help….”The other is that part of Your reply that says,“Martha,Martha, you are upset and anxious about many things..."
We have an innate inclination to cast both responsibility and blame on others (particularly those closest to us) when things don’t happen the way we think they should. It is a method of warding off blame just in case it comes; a way of covering our behinds; a way of saying certain consequences are not my faultjust in case someone might think they are. It can also be used as a justification by repudiation for what we are doing or not doing compared to what someone else is doing or not doing. It is, above all, a value judgment.
Often we need to take a close look at the values by which we make such judgments, and, I think, that is what You are telling Martha here. It’s good to help, to give of oneself when another is in distress, but so often we manufacture our own distress by being anxious and upset about things not worthy of such fuss or attention, especially in the context of an opportunity to ascend beyond such concerns. There is, because of our routine worldly worries, a chance of missing such opportunities.
In those times when I truly believe You are speaking to me, when You somehow get through to me You are, in effect, telling me that I am too anxious and concerned with things. If I was less so, I’d realize that the best part lies in simply prostrating myself at Your feet with no other concern. The sad part is that I am so busy with “things” that I miss this.
I think Martha knew this too. But the point with her was that she was really saying, ‘Tell her to help, Lord, because I’ve got to get this done so I can then be with You’ – and that’s me to a tee. Hang on a second, Lord, as soon as I get this done I’ll be right with You. In the meantime, if I could get a little help here I’d get done faster.
When we become so wrapped up in ourselves and our agendas that we are convinced the needs of others demand our immediate attention, we need to stop and look at Mary, at Your feet.