Sometimes I wish the Bible had a movie reel that we could watch or an audio recording just so we could hear how Jesus spoke Martha’s name in that day. Although the Bible doesn’t give any implications, I would like to think that Christ spoke her name in a compassionate, caring way; an ‘everything’s going to be okay’ kind of way. Later when he tells her that Mary has chosen the better part, I think He is implying that spending time with Him will be more effective than being troubled with the things of the world.
Many times I find myself being a Martha in my mind. Some mornings I wake up with a ‘Save the World’ attitude-I could be a source of great enlightenment if people would just ask me! Ever have those days? Don’t raise your hand, especially if you are a female…we all know that we have all the answers, right?! Just this morning I had devised a plan regarding a situation that didn’t have any spiritual or personal implications, but I had it all figured out, nonetheless. And don’t get me wrong-problem solvers and problem solving is an important aspect of human relationships. Many people have been passionate about a cause or circumstance that they could change, and those people have made great contributions to society. But sometimes the problems I want to solve don’t need my solution. Many times the problems I want to solve are small and insignificant, and if I’ll be honest with myself, they are quite simply none of my business. Maybe we are wired that way as women, but I don’t ever want that to become an excuse for becoming idle in my service. I wish I could gather up all of my energy and efforts that I place on mindless things and focus them on the things of God. When I find myself worried about things over which I have no control, I need to stop and refocus my thoughts on spiritual things that have eternal value. Instead of being worried about things, I need to reflect on controlling my actions and behaviors so that I can make a positive impact on those around me as I try to proclaim Christ, whether it be to my children, my husband, my neighbors, my coworkers, or the lady at the register who may need a kind word today. There are things that we can control and there are problems that we can solve. We need to have enough spiritual discernment to know the difference. In the 1940s a man named Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a poem that has been modified and adopted as a slogan for Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs, but in its original form goes something like this:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Just for today, I will focus my thoughts and efforts of things that matter-I will seek to have a mind like Mary and worship at Jesus’ feet and leave the things that are out of my hands in God’s hands.
HARPETH BAPTIST CHURCH—www.harpethbaptist.org