The Good Portion
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 10:41, ESV)
While many of you are beginning your winter golf season in the south, I have officially put my clubs away for the year. Matter of fact, there is snow on the ground as I write. We may find ourselves in different seasons as it pertains to golf, but all of us are looking down the barrel of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is near and Christmas is nipping on its heels.
Time has felt like a blink this year. And the calendar will be swallowed up before we know it with shopping, decorating, family gatherings, Christmas parties, and more. Personally, this time of the year offers me more space for rest and personal travel, but a to-do list that includes writing, year-end fundraising, administration details, and planning for 2020 shouts my name.
I feel the pressure of time on a regular basis and often try to fit 10 pounds into a five-pound bag. It occurred to me while visiting a friend recently that two paths are available as we move toward celebrating a day of Thanksgiving and anticipate the remembering of the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
The first path leads down a superhighway filled with agendas and lists. This path as no speed limits, tailspins us around corners, and travels toward exhaustion and disconnection from relationships we enjoy.
The other path, the good portion, meanders through colorful meadows of relationship, dazzling our senses with sweet fragrances of gratitude and joy. This path will have some obstacles, but it bends with grace, kindness, and love in unexpected ways.
The story behind our scripture passage today begins after Jesus enters a village and is welcomed into Martha and Mary’s home. Martha was “distracted with much serving,” while Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. Martha was not happy and went to Jesus with accusation against her sister (Luke 10:38-40). I imagine Jesus’ voice was soft and tender as he said, “Martha, Martha,” a beautiful invitation to stop serving and enter into relationship.
Finding balance between doing what needs to be done (the necessities of life) and choosing relationships is not easy. But Jesus made a point to show that it is important, and I believe even more so during the holidays. We must not get distracted by our agendas and to-dos. We don’t want to miss the good portion which is found in our relationship with Jesus and others.
As time clicks forward, I want the weeks ahead to be free from feeling anxious or troubled about many things. I want to choose the path that leads to the good portion, and I know it will require intentional practice. I want to choose Jesus and the relationships he has blessed me with.
November 14, 2019
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