Thursday, August 2, 2012

One Thing

A local Christian wrote this today in her blog:
The amazing athletes may falter and fail entirely…. Even if an athlete momentarily reaches perfection, at the end of the day it’s temporary. This thought struck me as I evaluated my current situation and day-to-day life. How often am I working, struggling, and striving for perfection in my work, home, bank account, happiness, health, etc…the list is endless!”
She goes on to suggest that the solution to our problem of dealing with so many things is to accept our imperfections and be happy, anyway - the usual stuff about passive living.

But: we know her frustration.  Trying to be “perfect,” (or at least good) in so many areas of one’s life will drive us crazy.  This is the Martha lifestyle:
A woman named Martha welcomed Jesus into her home.  She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to his word.  But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up and said,
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me.”

But the Lord answered and said to her,
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

      Luke 10:38-42

Many of us try to adapt to the “Martha” lifestyle.  We are having the Lord in our home, so we must have everything perfect!  And then our Lord says, “Only one thing is necessary.”  And as it turns out, Jesus is more pleased with the woman doing nothing but concentrating on his word than he is with the busy bee in the kitchen and her fancy preparations.
(Aside: Can you imagine how Martha must have felt?  She must have felt devastated that everything she thought she was doing so well, wasn’t even what he wanted!!  Remember that the next time you’re busy doing something ‘nice’ or ‘good,’ and seeking approval)

Olympians know this.  That’s why they only do ONE sport.  Swimmers and runners may do several events, but each person does only one sport.  And, as the commercials show … many of them have missed out on family functions, dates, hamburgers, sitting around watching TV, and all of that … so they could be nearly perfect in ONE thing: their sport.

And if you look back at Luke’s words above … you’ll see that he described Martha as “distracted” with her preparations.  From Martha’s point of view, Mary was the one negligent and distracted – but from God’s point of view, it was Martha!

We run the race to win, but must stay focused on our event: teach, heal and reproduce.  Sure, we have to do all the other stuff of life, but we can minimize that by being completely focused on serving God.  We can also share tips with each other on living a simpler life.  The less stuff we have, the fewer entanglements (friends/family/relationships), the better we can focus.  Paul wrote:

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.  2 Timothy 2:4

This is why Christians are unfruitful (Mark 4.19), it’s why they are stressed (Matthew 6:31-34), and it’s why they will miss the great banquet (Luke 14.18-20).  It’s why God advises us to abandon family, friends, money, marriage, and even our own selves.  We just cannot serve two masters (yet many of us try to serve more than two!).

I’ll end with this by putting two passages for you to read.  But first, walk away with this … burn it in your brain, and make it true of your everyday life: “ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY.”
None of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Luke 14:33

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

Drop your load, and pick up Jesus’ yoke.

Sell your pearls and buy only ONE of great price.

Sell your soul to God.

Seek first the kingdom.

God alone is sufficient for all

Psalm 23

1 comment:

  1. I very much appreciate your postings. Thanks for the reminders of what's important & what's just fluff.