Due to the nature of our ministry, I spend a lot of time reading emails, posts, and messages. Most these days speak of fear, anger, doubt and frustration. Yet they come from those who once were brave, loving, certain and patient. What changed?
COVID-19? Too easy. Riots? Too convenient. Social injustice? Too hollow. None of that is new. All over the world there have been horrible diseases, terrible violence, and shallow people jumping from one cause to next. That hasn’t changed.
Pretty much everything has existed before in some degree or manner. As Solomon once said, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.1 Yet something has changed.
Many things fight for our attention.
Jesus and the disciples once visited the home of Martha in Bethany. While she prepared for the guests, her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. Martha asked Jesus if He did not care that Mary was not helping her.2
Jesus replied, Martha, Martha, you are concerned and worry about many things. But one thing is most important. Mary has chosen that good thing, and it will not be taken from her.3
Wanting help was not why Martha spoke up. Women of that day were not allowed to be with the men…especially not sitting at a rabbi’s feet. That place was reserved for disciples, men learning to become teachers. Mary had broken the rules. She had changed.
What fills our eyes, our heart will follow.
Mary chose one thing more important than her culture’s rules and expectations. She chose to focus on Jesus. And where she sat made it clear she intended to share what He taught with others…because that’s what disciples do!
Today many have changed, but not like Mary. Their focus has turned away from Jesus, who offers direction without concern, peace without worry, and life without end. Instead, they look to many things that bring fear, anger, doubt and frustration.
Yes, many things are important. But only one can be most important. Mary chose to be with Jesus, listen to His teachings, and follow Him. She focused on what’s most important. She changed. Will we?
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Ecclesiastes 1:9. (2) Read Luke 10:38-40. (3) Read Luke 10:41-42.
Pictures: Banner Shot: “Man standing on stone looking at sunset” by Joshua Earle, Unsplash. 1st Photo: Getty Images.