The story of Mary and Martha (two of Jesus’ best friends) always gets my attention. Martha is the constant worrier and worker bee who is rushing around to get everything done and ordering everyone around. She’s outraged that everyone around her is plain lazy (or incompetent) and she’s always saying, “do I have to do everything myself?” She brings home the bacon and fries it up in a pan, she’s keeping score of who’s doing what (and who’s not doing what), and she’s always nagging at someone. I get stressed out just watching her.
Martha really annoys me.
I relate more to Mary, who is calm and laid back, sitting at Jesus’ feet. How does Mary get anything done? I don’t think she’s lazy, and I think she probably does more than sit at Jesus’ feet. I think she works -- maybe she even works hard. She just has her priorities ordered, and when the guest of honor arrives in her home she knows better than to run around and try to impress him. Instead, she just sits and listens. Plus, she’s figured out how to delegate. She gives credit where credit is due, and she isn’t a control freak. She orders the schedule. The schedule doesn’t order her. When her meeting cancels unexpectedly, she stops and gets a pedicure. And when her kids don’t have school in the morning, she lets them stay up late and eat popcorn.
She’s known to change plans.
Like Mary, I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.
The problem? Sometimes I feel like I am Mary trapped in Martha’s body. I am a type B person trapped in a type A life. I have a type A job, wear type A clothes, and live in a type A neighborhood. My family’s daily routine has just about no spontaneity let alone flexibility. Everything we do revolves around the “schedule” -- homework, play dates, after school activities, and scheduled appointments. If it’s not on the schedule, you might as well forget it. Sometimes I ask myself, is it possible to live life day by day and just worry about the moment?
Every once in awhile, I live like Mary. But most days, if I’m honest, I look more like Martha. So, if I was looking at your life from the outside in, would you resemble Mary or Martha? (By the way, I also think that Martha gets stuck doing all the Christmas shopping.)