Luke 10:38-42 – As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "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)
Have you noticed while driving in the city or on the highway how some cars veer off to the right or left? It never comforts me when I see cars leaving their lane and crossing the line into oncoming traffic. Most of the time, the offending drivers catch themselves and yank the car back inside the lane. Why is it so hard to stay within the lines of the traffic lanes? In a word: distraction.
It is common knowledge that we live and breathe in a distracting and distracted world. People who are distracted by their smartphone antics (calling or texting while driving) are endangering themselves and others by erratic driving. Instead of focusing on the important things, some folks feel that they can ignore the important and be distracted by the lesser issues.
In the story of Mary and Martha, we see the impact of distraction. Yes, Martha was distracted. She gave in to the lesser matter of hospitality for the more important matter of Jesus' presence and teaching. Mary got it! Martha was distracted. Jesus said as much!
Just think how many ways that people can be sidetracked from the greater issue by the lesser! Are we distracted away from prayer by some urgent problem? Are we diverted from our devotional time by the attraction of e-mail or social media? Are our thoughts pre-occupied by recent hurtful statements made by a family member or friend?
As days unfold during the week ask yourself: In what ways am I distracted away from spending time with Jesus and His welcoming presence in prayer and Scripture reading?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we confess that too easily we lose our proper focus. Help us to be more like Mary and less like Martha when we are tempted to be distracted from Your presence. We ask for Your help today. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour" (Lyrics)