What Is Better?

by Deb Trojak
The story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) has always bothered me until recently. This is probably because I identify with Martha. I love hospitality, but I also have to make sure that everything is perfect. I stress over details and so when I read the story and it says that Martha was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…” I am right there with her. I’m just as indignant as she is that Mary just sits at Jesus’s feet doing nothing (or seemingly nothing). And I have always been a bit miffed that Jesus sticks up for Mary.
In 2018 a song that resonated with me was “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz. A particular line in the song caught my attention and flipped my perspective of Mary and Martha. The line says, “Let your weary spirit rest, lay down what’s good and find what’s best.” This line somewhat mirrors Jesus’ response to Martha: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41,42)
What Martha is doing isn’t bad, but it isn’t what’s best. So often in my life I get caught up in trivial details that really don’t matter. I’m so busy trying to make sure that everything is exactly where it needs to be that I forget where I need to be—at His feet. Mary chooses what is best. She chooses to listen to Jesus and to sit at His feet. In the grand scheme of things, that is what is most important. Martha isn’t doing anything intrinsically bad. In fact, what she’s doing could be considered good. But in all that she’s doing, she’s completely missing the point.
As Jesus says—“few things are needed—or indeed only one” and that One is Him.

Leave a Reply