But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 40-42
The season of autumn is upon us and passing through with vigor. We hurry about trying to make the most of the season. If we hear of good weather and we soak it in like nothing else. Rake, last bonfires with friends, grill, bike, hike. Everything that keeps us outdoors. Enjoy, we say to ourselves. This is it. We know what follows…winter.
I had a conversation with a dear friend recently who said she is glad that we are finally in this season. She is ready to slow down. Settle in without feeling guilty. In Minnesota, we just want to make the most of these, summer and fall. It is the only time we know or think we can truly can get around without falling or sliding.
Mary and Martha are dear friends of Jesus. We hear about them a few times in the gospels. In the reading above, we find Jesus visiting their home. Martha, as women do, gets the house ready for the visit. Mary probably did help before Jesus and his friends arrived. I like to think so.
In this moment, Mary has decided to let the tasks at hand be dropped and sit with her company. Mary chooses to sit with Jesus and listen. Martha does not sit down. She keeps moving and taking care of business.
There are always seasons in our lives that call us to be busy. To take care of details. Make sure everything is running smoothly. Tend to others rather than ourselves. It takes all the time and energy we have. If we didn’t do it, who would.
If we take Jesus’ words to Martha to heart, Jesus wants for us to settle in first. That is what is important. To be filled and nourished with God’s presence. It is in those peace-filled moments that the taking care of business becomes more life giving. As our season of autumn finishes and the snowflakes tease us with an occasional glimpse, enjoy moments of watching the birds gather and fly south. Listen to the sounds that reminds us of life that surrounds our homes and our community. Pray. Listen to your favorite music. Soak in that morning sunrise as you drink your first sip of coffee. Notice. Pray. It’s all part of sitting and realizing you are loved.