The never ending chore of laundry is my least favorite. There’s no end to it. Once you put up all of your clothes, you IMMEDIATELY start a dirty pile that very same day. Because I have been living in a crazy world where stillness was not an option (in my head at least), I lived out of a laundry basket for the past two months.
Now to be fair, most of that time was lived in a suitcase because I was traveling in the middle east. BUT, when I came back home, I spent a good amount of time, possibly an hour, felt like two, sorting all of my clothes.
I hung the last dress in my closet, and all of the sudden, the closet rack collapsed. And my one hour, possibly two hours of work just fell on the closet floor.
I was stunned. I was frustrated.
And to give you a visual on the hot mess that is my closet, which I felt like represented the hot mess that is my life, here it was that Wednesday evening.
There is no filter that could make that look beautiful.
As I lamented to my roommates, like a first world citizen, I started to de-clutter the clutter. I donated a chunk of my clothes and started rearranging my things, quickly deciding what was needed and what was not. As I got my closet together, I started to visualize rearranging my entire room and a few DIY projects popped up. My frustration with Closet-Gate 2016 had layers of processing. When it came down to it, I realized yesterday that the core of this was loneliness.
I thought I was taking care of business, but really, I was taking care of busy-ness. Before I left for vacation, I was going full speed with responsibilities at work, ministry, and school. I was plugged in to the wrong things. Instead of re-charging with spending time in the Word and with the Lord, I was re-charging with screens.
I was listening to a sermon by Charles Stanley and he was talking about Mary and Martha. It’s a well known story, but I don’t want to misrepresent the Text.
This particular story of Mary and Martha can be found in Luke 10:38-42:
38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”
41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Alright, let’s break this down.
Jesus went into a village and Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister, Mary, was also there and sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to everything He said.
Martha, with her fervor for hospitality, was distracted by her tasks. You know what tasks. That to-do list that haunts your very heart when you have guests over. ESPECIALLY when you have the Messiah in your living room? Don’t play.
Poor Martha was definitely making sure the house was clean. Making sure that dinner was ready. Making sure that the finest china and silverware was out for guests. And as she’s making sure that the house is put together, Mary is sitting there, listening to Jesus.
I see you, Martha. Because I am Martha.
As her heart curdles with anger, she then comes up to Jesus and says, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”
Ok…now let’s back up and really investigate this passive aggressive shade. I think if Martha had asked Mary directly to help her with these tasks, she would have done it. Instead, she asks the Lord to tell her to give her a hand. She basically tattled on Mary. #marthatrippin
And the Lord responds, saying her name TWICE, (side note: I’m scared of my mama saying my name twice, but Jesus?, scarier) understanding how Martha’s heart is angered and frustrated, seeing right to core of her anger says, “You are upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice.” mic drop.
We live in a Martha world, that encourages what Martha does. Stay busy. With tasks. With goals. With to-do lists. This is what our culture feeds off of. And once those tasks are done, we put more tasks on our plate. When does it end?
Jesus said one thing was necessary. And Mary made the right choice.
What was Mary doing? That darling girl was worshiping. That darling girl was being present. That darling girl was revering the Lord. One thing was necessary: Worship God.
This is a well known story in Christian circles, but I realized something reading it this time around. Come with me on this journey.
Who is “they”? They is Jesus and His disciples.
Where were they going? Where were they traveling to? You have to look at the previous chapter in the book of Luke to answer this question. In Luke 9:51, it says “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”.
Y’all, Jesus was on his way to get crucified. He stopped at Mary and Martha’s house on the way to Jerusalem, where Jesus was to be killed.
So here’s the question that I asked:
If Martha knew that Jesus was on his way to crucifixion, would she have stopped all of these tasks? If Martha knew that Jesus was on his way to death, would she have chosen worship?
We live on this side of the cross. If we knew that the Messiah was coming back in our lifetime, would we make Martha choices or Mary choices? My heart is full of conviction as I have lived the past few months with a Martha mindset getting caught up in a Martha world.
Only one thing is necessary: WORSHIP GOD.
I am blessed to be surrounded by people who know me well and love me well. This holiday season has been the best. But I didn’t realize how deep my loneliness was. Because I was not worshiping God. The hot mess that I thought was my life, not really a hot mess. My life is…beautiful.
But my life without Jesus, is lonely.
So, as I have de-cluttered my closet and am on the way to re-arranging my living space, it is time to de-clutter my flesh and choose the one thing that is necessary. Worship God.