Sometimes stories from the Bible are frustrating. Because they remind me of how I need to change. A good example of this is the story of Mary and Martha. This always confused me when I was younger. I didn't understand why Jesus was pleased with someone who simply listened to him while another was trying to serve him. I read Windows of the Soul and Intimate Moments With the Savior both by Ken Gire and I finally understood. Jesus was more concerned with the heart of these two girls.
Mary was paying attention to Jesus's spiritual needs. He wanted someone to talk to. He needed someone to listen. He is away from his disciples and the crowds that followed him. He is in a quiet house and Mary sits at his feet, listening.
Martha does what she thinks is best. She tries to please Jesus. She cooks, cleans, and works for Jesus. But that's not what he wanted, needed, or even asked for. She did things her way. And then got angry when Mary got to spend more time with Jesus.
"As Mary takes all this in [Jesus's stories, etc.], Martha is getting caught up in a whirlwind of activity in the kitchen. In the flurry she hears less and less of the conversation in the other room. Hers is a magnanimous gesture but a mistaken one. Because Jesus doesn't want food; he wants fellowship."*
I discussed this with elizabeth and Natalie and we put it this way "Jesus doesn't need our spaghetti."
"He [Jesus] brings his point gently home: Fellowship with him is a matter of priorities. And and a matter of choice. It's the better part of the meal life has to offer. It is, in fact, the main course." *
The chapter from Intimate Moments... on Mary and Martha concluded with this prayer:
"Dear Savior at whose feet I now sit,
When you knock on the door to my heart, what is it you are looking for? What is it you want? Is it not to come in to dine with me? Is it not for fellowship?
And yet, so often, where do you find me? At your feet? No. In the kitchen. How many times have I become distracted and left you there… sitting…waiting…longing?
What is so important about my kitchenful of preparations that draws me away from you? How can they seem to trivial now and yet so urgent when I’m caught up in them?
Forgive me for being so much distracted by my preparations and so little attracted to your presence. For being so diligent in my duties and so negligent in my devotion. For being so quick to my feet and so slow to yours.
Help me to understand that it is an intimate moment you seek from me, not an elaborate meal.
Guard my heart this day from the many distractions that vie for my attention. And help me to fix my eyes on you. Not on my rank in the kingdom, as did the disciples. Not on the finer poi9nts of theology, as did the scribes. Not on the sins of others, as did the Pharisees. Not on the budget, as did Judas. But on you.
Bring me out of the kitchen, Lord. Bid me come to your feet. And there may I thrill to sit and adore you…”
*from Intimate Moments with the Savior