Friday, October 3, 2014

31 Lessons from 31 Women: Martha, part 1

Today is one of those crazy-busy days.  I have too many things to do: take the dog to the groomer's, grocery shop, make my house presentable and clean the bathroom that hasn't been cleaned in ~ahem~ week(s).  Then I have to cook dinner for guests tonight- something amazing and delicious of course because Pinterest, and, you know, I have to represent.

At some point I need to go hold the hand of my poor heartbroken mother who has, bless her, been rescuing stray animals all summer long and now is having to give them up one by one.  Which reminds me, I also need to catch the last of her stray kitties and take him to a shelter because he's tripped her four times in the last week and she is limping and covered in bruises.  Oh, and then we have a full day of school today, including the daily Asperger meltdown over math.  

While I'm at it, I'll make a list for tomorrow.  Paint the boy's room.  Cook a month's worth of breakfast mini-quiches to freeze.  Mop all the floors.  All while being a fun mom because Saturday.  Oh wow.  Tomorrow might be even worse than today.

So, right now I am feeling so dang glad that I made this commitment to blog everyday through the month of October because jumping in the deep end.  I'll be blogging all month about 31 amazing women and the deep and spiritual lessons they bring (because I know anything about that- HA!), and, of course, I'll be blogging about them in perfect prose without using the word 'by' for 'buy' like I did yesterday while Blogger puts white boxes around random things I italicize for no discernible reason.   

By the way, do you know how many women I had on my list Wednesday when I started this crazy quest?  One.  

Awesome.  I'll just be over here doing some research.  Because free time.

Do you see me getting bitter?

Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home.  Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus' feet, listening to Him teach.  Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus):  Lord, why don't You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to get over here and help me.

Jesus:  Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters.  Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won't take it away from her.       Luke 10:38-42

How about that? Martha had the gall to interrupt Jesus himself to ask Him to tell Mary to get up off her hiney and help. I think she was bitter too.
I know we are all supposed to be Marys in a Martha world, but I have always questioned that just a little bit because at some point, people need to eat and wear clean underwear, and you just can't know when your mother's orphaned squirrel is going to come down with pneumonia and you have to drop everything and take it to the hospital.  Somebody has to do all this stuff.  See what I mean?  Bitter.
I don't think it's the work, though, that makes the Marthas (and the Beverlys) bitter.  I think it's our skewed perspective.
We can guess all the many reasons that Martha might have been working so hard.  Maybe she  was a little bit of a control freak.  Maybe she was prideful in how well her house was run.  Maybe she was spending too much time pinning recipes and tablescapes instead of cleaning her kitchen.  Maybe she was secretly avoiding Jesus.  Maybe she (I) was all of these.
The one clear thing though is what she (I) wasn't.  She (I) wasn't working for the glory of the Lord. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,      Colossians 3:23

When we start throwing words like 'work' and 'master' around, we don't readily glean a picture of freedom, but Jesus as master is freeing.  He doesn't care about your grammar or your bathrooms.  He's not going to size you up or critique your performance.  He's not going to look down on you because your pot roast is always dry.  He cares about you.  

Yes, there are tasks to be done, but he wants you to do them not for duty, but for love, not even for your family, but solely for Him.  When you do things for His glory, He gets to be in control and you get to be in...peace.

And when you do that work for His glory, guess what else?  You're doing the work and sitting at the feet all at the same time.  Which is good for us Marthas because we sure love to multi-task...