Sometimes I get distracted.
Sunday night, hubby came home from a week-long business convention in Pennsylvania. We stayed busy while he was gone – the big kids went to STEM camp each day, our littlest enjoyed several play dates with her besties, and I wrote lots and lots of words. When the weekend rolled around, we were all more than ready for Daddy to be home.
Except that I wasn’t ready when he got home.
Dinner wasn’t done. The bathroom deep clean that had exploded into our bedroom wasn’t… well, cleaned up. The laundry sat where I’d left it, waiting to be put on hangers and hung in the closet.
How I wanted everything to be perfect when he walked in the door. But alas, real life got in the way.
And guess what? He didn’t care.
He just wanted to be with us. To hear about our week and tell us about his. To snuggle up close and enjoy the evening together.
As I bustled about the kitchen trying to hurry the cooking along, I remembered the story of another woman with whose life I so often relate.
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.
I so get Martha! She loved Jesus and wanted everything to be perfect for Him. That meal in the oven was an expression of her affection. She longed to make Him comfortable, to help Him feel at home.
Yet all Jesus wanted was her.
Her heart, her focus, her devotion – not shown through works done in His name, but through responding to His loving pursuit.
In contrast to restless Martha, there sat Mary — the picture of a quiet heart.
Yeah, there were unfinished chores to be done. But Jesus had arrived, and she had to be near Him.
Serving from a distance just would not do.
If He was sitting in the living room, that’s where Mary wanted to be. If He went to the dining room, you’d find her there. If He walked outside, she’d join Him there, too.
Mary was preoccupied with Jesus.
The Bible mentions this Mary several other times – once at Lazarus’ tomb, where she brought her grief to Jesus just before He raised her brother from the dead, and again at a dinner party, where she anointed His feet with expensive perfume as an act of worship*.
In both scenarios, Mary went where Jesus was. She loved Him and needed Him, so she ran to Him with zero hesitation.
Oh, God, give me such a heart! May I never be content with days full of service yet absent of connection with You. Teach me to cultivate Your presence, both in my “daily quiet times” and in middle of my everyday crazy.
How about you? How do you practice the presence of God? In what ways do you cultivate a quiet heart? I’d love to hear – please leave a comment below!