Does life ever feel crazy-busy to you? There are days when I find that life’s frenzied pace feels like the equivalent of lying on a car, desperately clinging to it as it recklessly speeds through my schedule! And then in the blur of my busyness, I vaguely recall the simple words, “Mary has chosen the good part” (Luke ). How many times have I felt the challenge of those words?
Just those few words, “the good part” (NASB) or “what is better” (NIV) should bring me to a screeching halt, leaving behind that burnt-tire stench of self-initiative. Let’s think about this. Here’s Jesus, the Son of God, doing us the kindness of telling us what He considers “better” or “the good part” of life, and I appear too busy to notice. But let’s get some perspective here. Jesus’ life was extremely demanding. There were times He wasn’t even able to eat due to the pressing crowds (Mark ). And there were times when crowds of thousands sought Him out and found Him even though He was trying to find a quiet place to be alone (Matthew 14:13). But He still somehow found time for what He saw as “the good part” as He made sure to carve out adequate time with His Father (Matthew -23). So why on earth would I, who am so much needier than Jesus, not take extra special care to make sure that every one of my days includes what Jesus considers “the good part”?
Jesus is calling me to come close, to be near Him, to intimacy, to know His thoughts, to enjoy His company, to hear from Him and dwell on His Words. I ought to consider such a call to be a rescuing hand reaching through my whirlwind of activity, pulling me to the soul-satisfying sanctuary of God’s presence. But as Jesus extends His hand, I still need to choose to grab it in the same way that Mary “chose” to sit and listen to Jesus in Luke 10:42. To discover the encouragement of “the good part”, I must make a choice: my way or His? It’s clear enough to me that Jesus’ way is not some kind of life where we just sit passively at His feet, listening, ever listening, never doing, never busy. But what I see in the story of Mary and Martha is that the only service Jesus desires is an activity that is born out of a life with Him – out of devotion that provides direction from heaven! It’s the branch-that-can-do-nothing-apart-from-the-vine principle. It’s being responsive rather than taking initiative.
It’s choosing the good part.
© 2008 by Ken Peters