I’ve done some good things in the last few days. Served my church. Served people around me. That’s good, right? Well, I was thinking so. Still do. So why is it that I can still feel something lacking?
Early this morning, before the sun came up, my valley was filled with a heavy fog. So heavy that no hills were visible. So heavy that there was a steady drip of condensed water from the eaves. As the sun broke over the hills to the east, it steadily burned through the fog, working its way across the valley until all that is left of the fog now is a sluggish drop or two from the eaves. What remains is a perfectly still, perfectly clear morning, the sharp green outline of my hills against a perfectly blue sky.
Sometimes it feels like good things can fog up my view of what is maybe more important. Just like the fog this morning obscured the rays of the sun, at least for a while, do you ever wonder whether good things in your life block your view of the Son?
But wait, aren’t good things, well, good? Umm, yeah. For me, I believe that doing good things, imitating Jesus, can make us look more like Him one good thing at a time. But is that the best thing? Is that the most that He wants from me?
Apparently Jesus doesn’t think so.
He was resting with some of his favorite friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha was working hard, making sure that everything was just right…for Jesus. That seemed like a very good idea! Mary was chilling, focusing solely on everything Jesus said.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42 NIV.
So, yes, good things are good to do. But are they distracting me from the one thing that is really needed? And what is that? For me it is spending more time listening for God speaking His words into my mind and my heart.