Are you like Martha or Mary? When Jesus entered the home of Mary and Martha, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teaching. At the same time, Martha was distracted from listening to Jesus by serving and meal preparation. When Martha complained that Mary didn’t help with the kitchen duties, Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)
Martha was being productive and doing something good by exercising hospitality. Mary, however, was discerning enough to go beyond what was good. She chose to do what was better, sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to “the words of eternal life.” (Luke 6:68)
We can be productive, anxious, and troubled about many things, devoting our lives to urgent activities that have no lasting importance. Or we can determine to focus on matters of eternal significance, keeping urgent and trivial things in their place.
Right relationships with God, each other, and ourselves have eternal importance. Be discerning like Mary, and don’t let the urgent distract you from these matters. You can’t do it all. You must choose. Choose the good portion that won’t be taken from you. -Paul