Luke 10:41-42 – "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (NIV)
"How are you today?" someone asked.
"I'm present," I mumbled. "That should stand for something."
I was having a bad day. My allergies were acting up, my head hurt, and my mood was dark. Present, yes, but what good was my presence? I was not focused on the real reason for being there.
"Presenteeism" is a newly-coined word which the dictionary describes as being the opposite of absenteeism. One is present when one really should be absent. There are times such as when we are contagious and spreading the disease that we really should not be present. There are other times when we are present, but not focused on the main issue.
The spiritual side of this is the scene we have with Mary and Martha. Mary was completely focused on Jesus and His message. Martha was doing her duty, but with such a negative attitude that it was sending the wrong message.
The times when we show up just to let others know by our presence that we are committed, infests the atmosphere with our negativism. We are presenting the wrong image, as Jesus pointed out to Martha: "Mary has chosen what is better."
A meal grudgingly prepared does not feed spiritual hunger. Our presence with a bad attitude does nothing to promote the cause we are attempting to get across. Each of us is called to focus on Jesus until our outer attitude is Christ-like.
Prayer: Lord, remove from us the attitude that things around us cannot function without our presence. When we lose our spiritual connection, our absenteeism might do more for Your kingdom than our presenteeism. Like Mary, help us to focus on what is the most important. Amen.
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