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Doing versus Being: The Mary/Martha Question

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: Doing versus Being: The Mary/Martha Question


Doing versus Being: The Mary/Martha Question

photo credit: Creative Commons


This is a BIG problem for me. 

I turn on the computer to write and the next thing I know I am playing a game, watching a video on YouTube and checking my Facebook. 

Life is full of distractions. 

Kids, spouses, broken down cars, illness....I could go on, but you get the point. 

What is important? What is essential? 

Mary and Martha learned this lesson from Jesus himself. Martha was distracted. Martha was busy cooking, cleaning, preparing and in general serving her guests (Jesus and the crew) while Mary just wanted to spend time with her friend and Lord. Jesus said Mary got it right. Martha missed the mark. 

Been there. Done that. Didn't even get a T-shirt. 

Recently, talking to a friend, we discussed the "busy work" of ministry. He kept saying "I've seen more done with less." He meant that our bulletins, video productions, and other "stuff" of ministry are not the things that change lives, but Jesus is. An encounter with God is what grabs our attention and keeps it: not the stuff we get handed before a service starts. Sometimes the "production" of ministry can be a distraction. 

So why do we get caught up in the doing, when getting into God's presence the thing we should be seeking. 

I know I risk sounding a little too "zen", but we are humans and we need to be a little more "be"ing (human be-ing).  

We should be getting into His presence and just being ourselves. All that entails. The good, the bad and the ugly. Let God change us from the inside out. He knows when we are "faking" it for everyone else anyway, right? 

What people see, (the busy work- the distracting things) has nothing on the time we spend in our Father's presence. It has nothing on communing with God in spirit and in truth. It is putting on a show. Real life lived in God's presence is more important than living with the stuff you have or think you should have as a Christian. 

So let go of the distractions for a moment and really just be. Welcome God's presence and just sit there at his feet for a moment. Choose what is vital and important and let the busy work go. 

Now, how does that feel? 

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Are you easily distracted? 


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