Mary or Martha?

When we read the story of Mary and Martha, it’s supposed to be a no-brainer.  Mary had her priorities straight and Martha was uptight, clueless, small, petty, etc. 

Am I the only one who sympathizes with Martha?  Am I the only who looks and acts and thinks like Martha? 

Are you telling me that when you have company, you don’t care that the house is a pig sty and there’s nothing to eat?!  How would you feel if your sister (or more likely, husband) were sitting on the couch watching the football game and eating cheese doodles 30 minutes before everyone is supposed to arrive?  Would you really feel better if the activity was reading the Bible instead of watching football?

Being more like Mary instead of Martha is something I really struggle against.  But I read something the other day that really brought it home for me:  the crowds of people following Jesus everywhere he went HAD THINGS TO DO.  And not just “things to do”.  They didn’t have vacation time or sick days at work — if they didn’t work, they didn’t eat.  They had kids, homes, cooking, cleaning, farming, pottery making, sword making, shoe making to do.  They had sheep to tend and goats to milk.  Goats and cows need to be milked twice a day no matter what.  They didn’t have a savings account, a 401k, or a pension plan.  They didn’t have a car to drive 2 hours to get there and 2 hours back.  If the Master was speaking “nearby”, they likely had to walk a day to get there and a day to get back — or more.  They may have had to carry their provisions.  They may not have been able to afford a “room at the inn”.  This wasn’t just true for a few people.  Tens of thousands of people gave up their Martha duties and followed him EVERY DAY. 

I guess I CAN find 30 minutes in my day for quiet time with God.


Reminder:  E-mail me at to enter the drawing for a free copy of Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson.  The drawing will be Friday, August 22nd.


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