Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
I love ice cream. Now, if I want a good ice cream dessert, I can drive up to Dairy Queen and get a nice, tasty blizzard. But if I want the best ice cream dessert, well, I’m going to have to take a trip to Ghirardelli’s for their World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae! There’s a difference between good and best.
The same thing is true with activities related to our spiritual lives. We can see this in the story of Martha and Mary. As Jesus and His disciples were traveling along, they met Martha and she invited them into her home. As hostess, she was responsible for the hospitality toward her guests, and therefore Martha was busy taking care of her company. Meanwhile, Mary, her sister, was sitting at the Lords feet.
Picture the scene: Guests are in the home. Martha is running about and putting the men’s sandals away. She’s cooking the food, getting fresh water from the well, etc. All this is going on while Mary, good for nothing, LAZY Mary, just sits there.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why doesn’t Mary get up and help? I mean, come on. She lives there, too. She’s supposed to be the other hostess, helping her sister. There were things that needed to be done.
Martha no doubt also wanted to hear Jesus, but she was distracted with the duties of preparation. Taking care of her guests was a good thing, but she was missing the best thing. In other words, what she was doing was important, but it was less important than spending time with Jesus. Martha chose what was good, but Jesus pointed out that Mary chose what was best. Sometimes what we think is most pleasing to God falls short of the best thing… and that is just plain intimacy with Him. Far too often, we settle for the good, and forfeit the best.
How about you? What distractions draw you away from your quiet time with God? Have you settled for mere good things? What do your actions show to be the most important thing in your life?
Hanging out with God is the best thing that we can do. Certainly, we have many things that clamor for our attention (school, friends, etc.). Most of these are good things and deserve our attention, but we must choose what is best. We must make the time to pause and sit, and hear the Word of God and reflect on it daily. Other things will just have to wait! It is said that George Muller read the Bible 200 times in his lifetime (100 of those times on his knees). Don’t you want this to be said of you?
Unfortunately, when we get busy, the first thing that gets sacrificed is not other things, but our personal time with God. The problem is that sometimes it just feels like to spend an hour or two of our valuable time in prayer and Bible reading would be a waste of time. But we need to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2). We need to understand that when we set aside time for quiet time, we have chosen the best, most important thing we can do. It’s better than going to Ghirardelli’s for a World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae! We’ve got to stop acting like Martha and start thinking like Mary.