“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:38-42
Life is chaotic. Each and every one of us has obligations in several different realms of our lives: relationships, health, finance, education, and the list goes on. And all of them deserve our attention. But there are only 24 hours in each day. We must prioritize. Whether or not we consciously construct a list of priorities, we are demonstrating our prioritization with our actions.
Ask any Christian what’s more important, watching TV or reading Scripture, and most will undoubtedly tell you ‘Scripture.’ But if you set an invisible drone to follow them around 24/7 how many people would be seen spending more time in front of the TV than their Bible?
It is absolutely necessary for us to take an honest look at our lives and ask the question “do the hours of time spent on these activities accurately reflect my values?” It is far too easy to fall into bad habits without even realizing it. This is why Jesus Himself warns us that we must “Stay Awake.” (Mark 13:37)
God wants us to devote most of our time to Him because He loves us, not because He wants to force us to sacrifice what we love. “I desire mercy not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). By placing our attention toward Heaven, we will mysteriously begin to be blessed here on Earth. By placing God above our financial concerns, we will watch as these concerns are taken care of. By placing God above our personal relationships, we will find these relationships begin to take care of themselves in ways we could not have foreseen. CS Lewis puts it succinctly, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
Amidst the chaos, Jesus provides everlasting comfort. Like Martha, we all tend to grow anxious and troubled about many things. And yet like Mary, we all have the opportunity to bring our focus back to what is most important. And this, truly, can never be taken from us.
“I once had a thousand desires, but in my one desire to know you, all else melted away” — Rumi