Luke 10:40 ~ "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.'"
There are a wealth of distractions that fill our lives. What do you do to beat them?
Jesus had come to the home of his friend, Lazarus. Mary and Martha, the sisters of the man, welcomed the Lord with great delight. Mary saw the opportunity to enjoy the presence of Jesus and sat at His feet in order to receive His words. I could imagine that every one of us might be of the same mindset, delighting ourselves in His presence and catching every word like a treasure.
Martha, however, had other obligations on her mind. They were not bad, nor was she trying to avoid her Lord. She saw the need of the moment and sought to serve Jesus with a well-prepared meal. She was "distracted with much serving." And it is the idea of being distracted that we bring our thoughts today.
Understand, Martha was distracted with something that most, if not all, would consider a good deed. She wanted to serve the Lord and provide a meal for the King. Surely this was a noble task that needed to be accomplished. And, looking at Mary, she wanted the Lord to command her sister to get up and help.
Let's understand what it means to be "distracted." Literally in our text the term means to "drag all around." That is, you're always searching this way and that, looking around at other things rather than looking at what is necessary. And isn't that what happens when we get distracted?
Jesus spoke to Martha and answered her cry of distress in verses 41-42. "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." Martha was "anxious and troubled" and lost sight of the fact that the Lord of Heaven, the Master and Teacher, sat in her living room and was talking. The time for a meal would come, now was the time to sit and listen to Jesus.
So, what are the things that distract you? in our modern era we have more things demanding our attentions than ever. Social media, cell phones, television, video games, and a host of other distractions come through our lives that we "drag all around" trying to touch on each one. Other things are there, things that are potentially good but not the better. How many are distracted during the time of God's word in Sunday services, or the time of praise and adoration through music and though their bodies are there, the mind is upon all other considerations?
Hebrews tells us this: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). Consider 2 Timothy 2:4, "No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him." There are weights that must be laid aside, and there are pursuits that have nothing to do with our pleasing the Lord. We must be willing to acknowledge that we are, as Martha, anxious and troubled by many things.
So how do you beat the distractions? Simple... by remembering what is, in that moment, the better thing to do, and concentrating on that instead. Jesus told Martha that only one thing was necessary--and Mary had chosen that. It is a choice for you as well. What, in the moment that you're living, is the "one thing necessary?" It might be a service to perform, a prayer to pray, a lesson to heed, a call to make. Each moment contains its own priorities from the Lord.
The only question, my friend, is whether you're willing to do what is necessary in the moment. But when you do know what it is, you then have a great opportunity to let the distractions go--and pick them up when they become the necessity of the moment.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.