When Martha Learns to be Mary
My brain is always working, spewing out thoughts and feelings. When my brain isn’t in conversational overdrive, activity is the name of the game. Doing and productivity push me to want to conquer my never-ending tasks.
Sometimes the better thing is to be still. The better thing is to listen rather than jibber on. The better thing is to step away from the pressure of my day and enter in to sacred secrecy with God.
Jesus said to a frantic and frazzled Martha–the one I know–the one trying to get it all done and get it all right:
You are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.–Luke 10:41-42.
How opposite from the demands of the day and the drive of this performance-crazy world. Jesus cuts through all the stuff that crowds us–the worry and stress, the doing and finishing, the external and temporary.
What secret had Mary discovered? What formula for delivering the soul and redeeming the day?
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him… Psalm 37:7
Sacred secrecy takes place in our inner room, that inmost heart, present and intimate with Christ. This is our holy of holies.
We need to cultivate sacred secrecy with God–not as in we should, but as in we really need it.
But what to do on those harried, chaotic Martha days?
Nothing is finished, the house is a wreck, and there is no quiet to be found. How do we get to this resting place when kids are crying and people are asking?
How does Martha learn to be Mary?
What if my inner room is a condition of the heart, rather than a space on the schedule, a place in the house, or a formula for spiritual growth?
For so long, I thought time with God had to be a certain way with a specific time and formula. It had to be quiet, with everything else stopped and put away. Too often, that quiet didn’t come.
And I felt guilty.
I felt lacking and displeasing to God.
I felt like a spiritual failure, as if God was depending on me to do everything just so.
The true secret to intimacy with God.
What if we learn to be present WITH God in the midst of the quiet moments as well as the busy times? What if we learn the secret of living WITH God, rather than working for God? WITH, that communion of spirit, enables us to pray, speak, work, and play with God–no lines and no divisions between sacred and secular, between doing and being.
As Martha learns to be Mary, we can learn to live like a monk long ago, who learned sacred secrecy in the doing of life:
WITH–the sacred secrecy of living with God–Mary and Martha can come together.
What helps you to choose the better way?
Other Posts from this series: