“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Jesus in one of his famous statements gives us all clarity on what is the priority while doing God’s work. The story goes out like this: Once Jesus entered a village; a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. She had a sister called Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his word. Martha was distracted possibly to serve the Lord, and found her sister sitting simply at Jesus’ feet and hearing Him speak. It made Martha a bit anxious and she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her. His response to Martha is the familiar passage which we all have come across in the Bible, but find it hard to practise. Jesus clearly distinguishes between the service of doing and being. Here in this passage, it’s more about which one is the priority and which should come first. In my work as a counsellor, I come across people and children who come with many problems and issues. Sometimes I felt so small in front of those issues. I used to wonder whether I would really be able to deal with the problems that have been shared with me. Recently, there was one such issue me and my organisation were very concerned about. We were worried about how things are going to be and tried to do a lot of things but found those were not enough. This passage really encouraged me because we truly started worrying and forgot our priority. We chose what Martha did rather than what Mary did. I strongly realised that only one thing is needed, that is to choose sitting right at the feet of Jesus and waiting for His say over things, rather than worrying and getting distracted “doing” many things. I then looked back at my short term in His service. I realised that being in His presence did a lot of wonders than just trying to do a lot. God expects us to do certain things for Him but being with Him is far more important than doing for Him. When we “be”, we “do” what we hear from Him. That’s what Jesus was trying to make Martha understand, that the good part is to “be at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him”. God’s ministry is not about doing a missionary but being a missionary, not about doing the service but being the service. We become true servants of God, when we sit at the feet of God and do things. Remember “doing” is important, but it should always come after “being”.