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“Martha, Martha, Martha!”

Even if you haven’t watched and memorized every episode of the Brady Bunch (like me), most of us are still familiar with the famous exasperated cry, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”. I can see how Jan (the middle of 3 blond sisters) felt inferior to her older sister, Marsha.. I mean, I always wanted to be like Marsha rather than Jan. It’s like the difference between Barbie and Kipper. Barbie was a tall, curvy, busty, blonde who’s feet were literally designed to wear high heels (think about it…). Kipper, the poor thing, was both flat chested AND flat-footed and short. Anyway-Jan certainly felt less-than compared to Marsha, who seemed to get all the attention. Thus, the whine, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”.

Well, as I was laying on the couch, frozen from being overwhelmed and not being able to prioritize what  to do next, a phrase from a bible story I have read for years popped into my brain; “Martha, Martha (Martha)!  You are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary (your sister) has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” So, here’s the scoop. Jesus goes to visit these 2 sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary is so glad to spend time with Jesus that she just plops down and “listens to what he says.” Martha, on the other hand, is doing all the stinkin’ work and is starting to get hacked off. I can almost picture her huffing and stomping around, trying to get their attention so they get the hint that she might need some assistance. Finally, after that fails, she marches in to the room and totally loses her cool; “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”.

It says that “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” What a good word to describe me: Distracted. What’s funny to me, is that I tend to be Mary (sitting at Jesus’ feet) and Martha (distracted by all the preparations) at the same time! I sit and spend time in prayer and mediation and then all of a sudden, “Oh crap, did I take that stuff out of the laundry? I think I am out of detergent. I’ll get it when I go to the store for milk. That reminds me, I have nothing for dinner. Maybe we should eat out. But the budget is tight. I really need to get working-how can I sell more houses?”  The next thing I know my brain is off and running on a strategic business plan for Real Estate. Anyone relate? I have serious ADD when I try to focus on one thing at a time. Not that Leukemia was fun, but I will say it was helpful that I only had one thing to focus on-getting well. Kicking Leukemia’s butt. And I did it. But today, I have about 30 things to do and I am having trouble prioritizing them so that I can get them done, one thing at a time. So here I sit-immobilized because I am totally overwhelmed and unable to choose what the next right thing is and then do it.

I know that, though it sounds lovely, I can’t practically “sit at the Lord’s feet” all day. Not literally, anyway. But I can “listen to what he says” throughout my day. It is good to sit still and be with God, but the majority of my day will be spent running errands, working, cleaning, playing with kids or meeting with friends. That doesn’t mean that I have to leave God in the living room where I do my study and prayer time. I spent years doing this; Giving him my morning time and neglecting to touch base at all for the rest of the day. But I don’t want to live that way anymore. I want his help when I plan my day, and then, I want to be willing to throw my plan out if He presents me with a different one. Turning my will and my life over to the care of God means I make him a part of all of my decisions, actions, and interactions throughout the day. I have a friend who used to pray about everything, even before she went in to get a haircut! I thought that was going a bit overboard. Today, i think she is pretty wise. God is not just interested in our “spiritual lives”, he is interested in our “lives.” He wants to be a part of even the smallest detail of our comings and goings because He loves us and created us to be in companionship with him. He can help me decide what is and is not important to get done today if I am willing to ask him. Next time you hear that still, small voice in your head saying, “Martha, Martha, Martha!”, take some time to regroup, slow down, focus on what matters, listen to what he has to say and “sit at the Lord’s feet”.

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