I'm a Martha trying to be a Mary.
Bear with me if you already know this Bible story. Two sisters. The first, Martha~I can picture it all in my head. She wants everything perfect. The house, the food, the music, the atmosphere. A Pinterest worthy post. As the day goes on and the arrival of guests gets closer, the stress levels rise.
Then there's Mary~carefree and excited. Maybe laying on her bed, scribbling into a well worn notebook all the questions she wants to ask her Guest. Smiling just knowing that whatever His answers are, they will be just what she needs to hear. In her excitement she finally sits at His feet, soaking up every word. Forgetting everything else. In the mean time, Martha is hot, tired, stressed and angry at her sister for not helping her at all. I am Martha. I am Martha trying to be a Mary.
As soon as I typed those words, I knew what my problem was. "I'm trying". Me. Myself. I don't think Mary was purposely being unhelpful. She probably didn't think twice about what she was doing, she just knew she was in God's presence and didn't want to miss one word. In the heat of the moment though, Martha could only think about her self. Because I am so much a Martha, I suspect that all the hard work of the day had nothing to do with her Lord and more to do with the praise of men. Deep inside she wanted it to be for the Lord, but she just couldn't get past the idea that everything would be a reflection on her. Which in turn took away the reflection of Christ and His glory. She was so stressed over perfection that she forgot Him. She neglected to sit at His feet
I don't know how often I have read this story through the years and become Team Martha. I relate to her 100% and roll my eyes at Mary. I have argued with myself and maybe with God, saying in my mind-"what's wrong with trying to have everything perfect?." But God always shows me why I'm wrong. It becomes wrong when our service isn't about Him. When we work and work and work~whether at home or at our jobs or at church or in ministries~ until we feel like we have nothing left to give, and then get angry inside because no one else is helping. We are the only ones. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves. If we aren't careful bitterness can arise and a prideful heart, believing we are somehow right with God because of all our hard work, when in reality it's all about us. If we were truly doing it all for Christ to begin with, we would do it with joy and our hearts would sing at the idea of doing something for our Savior.
Perhaps Mary was a little in the wrong as well. If Christ has allowed you time on this earth, you should always be looking for opportunities to serve Him, not just to sit and warm up a pew on Sunday mornings. At the same time, let me give you a piece of advice. Don't be a Martha trying to be a Mary and don't be a Martha pretending to be a Mary. Trying to act carefree yet spiritual when deep down inside the stress of everything around you has you in knots. Be that woman who starts her day serving at her Savior's feet. Spending time with Him and asking Him to use all the work of your hands for His glory alone. It will change your life. You will find joy in serving, no matter what the task. After all, you aren't really ever working alone, He is working right along side you. Be you. You with your Savior.