“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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 10:38-42
This year for my husband Rob’s birthday I invited several friends over for supper. I decided to recreate a meal from one of his favorite restaurants. I researched and found recipes for his favorite menu items and even added several of my own. I shopped at three different grocery stores for just the right ingredients.
Since it was a special occasion, I decided to recover my grandmother’s dining room chairs that I had been meaning to recover for months. I tried to clean the house even better than normal. I wish I could tell you that I did all of this for Rob, to make his day special. I did kind of, but I really did all for me.
I wanted to impress our friends–especially the new girlfriend of one of one of our closest friends. I stressed for days about everything I had to do. My progress was slowed by all the time I spent stressing over all the details.
His birthday was supposed to be fun for our entire family and it ended up being stressful for all of us. I had too many things on my list and I didn’t think it was possible to get them done before our friends came over. By God’s grace, we ended up having a great evening together but I was stressed the entire time. I think Rob enjoyed the meal and spending time with our friends.
Later that week, Rob spoke with our friend who had brought his new girlfriend to dinner. He said that she enjoyed meeting us and that I seemed to be “very put together”. She could not have been more mistaken. Little did she know what was happening behind the scenes and in my heart. I stressed about the big things. I stressed about the little things. I stressed out my entire family.
Everything was falling apart because I was falling apart. I had done all the right things for all the wrong reasons. Just like the men and women in Genesis 11, I was trying to make a name for myself. Deep in my heart I knew that this was wrong.
My purpose on this earth is not to make my name great but to make God’s name great. Though I appeared to succeed by impressing our dinner guests, I didn’t feel very successful. God had graciously frustrated my efforts just like he did the builders at Babel.
As Augustine said: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Who do you turn to when you realize there is not enough time in the day? What do you do when you think you can’t do everything? What do you do when you think you can do everything? What causes you to crave comfort, happiness, rest and peace?