Some days I meet myself coming and going. Here lately, I've had a hard time remembering to eat lunch. I get so busy home schooling the children, answering emails, returning phone calls and by the time 3pm rolls around, the rumbling in my stomach lets me know I've neglected it.
Everyone is busy. There are spirit-filled, busy Christians, too. Just look at the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus and his disciples were invited to have a meal in Martha's home who was apparently the typical "hostess with the most'ess". She wasn't happy that her sister Mary wasn't helping in the effort of serving, cleaning and assisting when Jesus told her, "Martha, Martha, 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."
Martha was distracted by the very Person she was serving. She allowed her service to Jesus to distract her from his presence. Sometimes our hard work can cause us to lose the very goal for which we're working. A friend of mine is the type of person who cooks all day before Thanksgiving and stays up all night to make sure every meal is homemade. By the time Thanksgiving Day rolls around, she's so tired and frustrated she can't enjoy the meal or the family! Distraction can turn something wonderful into a burden. Martha's distraction led her to worry, which made her upset about "many things". Jesus was in her home, but Martha was bothered not blessed. That's what distraction does.
Distraction makes us oblivious to the presence of the Lord. And when we try to serve God without his presence we become angry and bitter with him and others who are serving him. Mary was not distracted. She was enjoying Jesus' presence. It's almost like you can imagine her saying, "I am SO glad you're here, Jesus. It means so much to me to be here with you."
How many Christians do you know who would rather do nothing in life than sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him? When Jesus finds someone like Mary, you can be sure he'll share the intimate details of his heart with that person.
Friendship with God is the result of a conscious choice. And once we choose it, his friendship will determine the other courses we choose.
Going to church, working with other Christians in service and all other activity can be done outside of God's presence by good people who aren't really friends with Jesus. Just ask Martha.
(Barbie will be signing her books at Peoples Drug Store in Lexington on Monday, November 5 from Noon-1pm.)