The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42 MSG
When I first traveled to Mexico City, our missionary contact warned me that Type A people have a difficult time adjusting to "Mexico time." I naively thought, “That won’t be me.”
Our first day there, our project was to travel to the church we sponsor in Tepito to paint and do minor repairs. Because travel to any part of Mexico City always takes "about an hour", we needed to leave early so that we would have time to work.
That morning, we arrived at the bus stop on time, but the bus was delayed. When we finally arrived at the church, we were already two hours off schedule. I was immediately intent on working; however, the pastor, his wife, and their family had other plans. Because it was "practically" already lunch, they invited us to partake in a large meal they had prepared. As I ate and the minutes ticked by, I couldn’t enjoy the conversation because I was too focused on what a waste the day would be if we did not complete all of the work.
At that moment, I fully understood how Martha felt when Jesus stopped in for a visit. When you read the scripture, Martha, not Mary, initially welcomed Jesus and made him feel quite at home. However, while Mary enjoyed Jesus’ company, Martha was overwhelmed and consumed by the work that “needed” to be done.
In true Martha fashion, I was with amazing friends, but I was too consumed with the work that “needed” to be done to enjoy it. I finally asked, “We only have a few more hours, when can we start painting?”
Our host responded, “The work will be here tomorrow, but our time together as friends is short.” In that moment, I understood what Jesus was saying to Martha, when he said, “Martha, … you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it.” Luke 10:41-42 MSG
While I had been anxious and worried about all the work that we needed to do, I had missed out on the most important aspect of the trip – being in the moment with my brothers and sisters in Christ. While I had worried about our schedule and the time, I had almost missed the timelessness of love and fellowship. While I had focused on “doing”, everyone else had focused on “being”.
If thinking about the holidays brings out your inner Martha, try to embrace a little “Mexico time.” Take a deep breath, and remember that investing in relationships with others and with our Savior is the reason we are here. Find a moment and do nothing. Just be. Be in the presence of your loved ones, and most importantly, be in the presence of Jesus.
Jesus, Thank You for reminding me to be in Your presence. When I become consumed with worry and busyness, remind me to take a moment and simply be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.