The story of Mary and Martha (two of Jesus’ best friends) has my attention. I like to imagine Mary and Martha living in the 21st Century.
Martha is a trailblazer. (Heck, she owned property in the ancient world -- a rare status for women!) She's also a 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 taking care of her family -- both emotionally and financially -- and she wonders when someone is going to take care of her instead! She’s keeping score of who’s doing what (and who’s not doing what), and she’s always nagging at someone.
Sound like anyone you know? I get stressed out just watching her. Maybe because she hits too close to home.
Unlike Martha, Mary is calm and laid back, sitting at Jesus’ feet. How does Mary get anything done? And why does she let Martha do all the work?
I don’t think Mary is lazy -- she just has her priorities ordered. She works smarter, not harder. 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.
Mary knows how to delegate. 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.
So many of us want to live like Mary but we feel trapped in Martha’s world.
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!
Like Mary, I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.
But is it possible to live like Mary in a modern-day world?
Martha probably asked the same question.