One of the best words I have learned to use over the years is “no”. You see, I was always the person to go to when you needed something done because I could never refuse to help. I had to work at learning to say “no”. I spent many years running myself ragged between taking care of my home, my children, my husband, all their activities, and the many projects I participated in because I couldn’t say “no”. It’s exhausting and distracts you from God and His plan for your life.
In Luke chapter ten is the story of Mary and Martha, a great example of how our busyness gets in the way.
Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are you like Mary or Martha? Mary wastes no time to seize the spot right at the feet of Jesus. She wants to take in every word He says. She doesn’t want to miss anything. Martha, on the other hand, was concerned about feeding everyone.
I would guess that Martha was an excellent cook and possibly got her sense of worth in hearing compliments about her food. Oh, how she wanted to impress Jesus! We often do that with the talents God has blessed us with, don’t we? We become overly occupied with them, and often times, it’s for the joy of hearing the praise. (Yes, we hate to admit that but there’s so much truth to it. I’m a musician – we’re usually the worst at that.)
I wonder how many times I’ve missed out on an incredible touch of God because I was too busy taking care of the details to make sure everything was perfect. Or maybe, I was too preoccupied at wanting to parade my talents to others.
Martha then becomes frustrated that Mary is not helping her and tattles to Jesus, thinking her job is more important, and Mary will immediately be told to help her. Jesus says to Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
Our time with Jesus is more important than anything else we could possibly do. Yet, like Martha, we get too busy with life that we are often “worried and upset about many things”. We want to blame our lack of time with God on everything and everyone else that keep us so busy, and we miss the one thing we need.
God has boldly shown me that I need to carefully guard my time and not waste it frivolously on events not appointed by Him. Once in a while, I would venture out into something appealing that may have called for one of my talents I hadn’t used in some time. God gave me those talents and surely wants me to use them! I often assumed that without asking Him first. I quickly discovered I’d stepped out on the wrong path and soon found dislike and discontentment with the activity. I may have had to endure for some period, though, if I’d made a commitment. I have finally vowed not to get involved in an activity until seeking God’s approval, even if it's something that uses my talents or may advance my ministry.
I believe that the devil has distracted many Christians from their true calling with busyness. He uses our busyness to keep us from God. BUSY stands for – Being Under Satan’s Yolk.
*Much more to come on busyness!