Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In Other Words--Which Martha am I?


“Martha was busy for Jesus,
and that left her too busy to be with Jesus.”

by ~ Jon Walker
Growing with Purpose: Connecting with God Every Day

Back in my seminary days the big joke was that we were at the "cemetery." When pressed to explain why we would say that, my usual answer was "we spend so much time talking about God it is easy to forget to talk to God." It was true in the world of academic pursuit. Sometimes you forgot to have a relationship with whom you were pursuing.

The same can be true in ministry, whether ministry is vocational, volunteer or serving our families. Sometimes we get so busy doing good stuff for the sake of ministry that we forget to have a relationship with the one calls us to minister. We fill our lives with busy activities that take away the time to sit and listen to God.

I think that sometimes Martha takes too hard of a hit. She may have been busy, but she was teachable. When Jesus encouraged her to pursue the "best thing" she listened. When she confronts Jesus at Lazarus' grave she is not the too-busy-for-relationship person we had seen before. She was pursuing being near Jesus.

That encourages me. Yes, there are times that I am the busy-Martha doing lots of good things but missing the relationship. But I am also the teachable-Martha who can hear when my Lord says "slow down and be with me." In that slowing down I can also be the trusting-Martha who expresses belief that Jesus could save her brother and that they would be together in the resurrection. Just as Martha makes the transformation, so do we. We have seasons where we may get too busy. Praise God he calls us to slow down and teaches us to trust.

This holiday season, I pray that we all can hear the call to slow down and have a relationship with the Saviour who comes. His name, Immanuel, reminds us that he wants to be with us. Let's take the moments to slow down and learn to trust.

Our hostess this week is Debbie at Heart Choices. Please come and join the amazing ladies who write each week. If you would like to share your thoughts on the quote above, we would love to have you join us.


mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi MiriamPauline - thanks for your wisdom and insight. I've often felt that Martha has had too much criticism, when she was perhaps using her particular gift to minister to Jesus. As women it is difficult enough meeting all of the expectations of our family, church, and community without feeling that we are being criticized for the very things that our church tells us we should be doing, as women, wives, and mothers. Perhaps I'm going against the grain here, but I've been around longer than some, and I've experienced the struggles of trying to do it all, be it all, and still be peacefully pursuing my daily quiet time ... . all while juggling screaming children, the telephone ringing, and flying out the door to teach a Bible study! As you say, all good things, but it doesn't make for a peaceful home. ;o) Thanks!

Esthermay said...

"...about God ... forget to talk to God." EXACTLY! So, so, so true in ministry.
You make the greatest point of the entire topic today: Are we teachable?
Thank you!

Debbie said...

Very interesting thoughts on this quote. You're so right. Martha was at least teachable. How many of us are open to changing our behavior?

Thanks for your take on this quote.


Sharlyn Guthrie said...

Great post! Being teachable is so important. I appreciate your thoughts on ministry, too. It is easy to talk more about God than TO HIM.

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Miriam Pauline, thank you for sharing your take on this. I think you're right, we forget that Martha also had a teachable heart.. I need to remember that..