There’s the sweet story of Mary and Martha, complementary sisters who sometimes compete, and the time that they host Jesus in their home.
Martha, the (most likely older) sister is a diligent steward and hospitable servant, always holding her door opened with one hand, hugging you in the other arm, and there’s a hot meal ready on the table.
Mary is the sweet woman with a loving heart and listening ear, always ready for a good conversation (and cry)… if she serves anything, it’s coffee and Kleenex.
And though we love to identify with and hate on Martha, wouldn’t you rather be hosted by her if you were an out of town guest? And we love to exalt and try to model after Mary, but there is a sense in which she may just have neglected helping her sister…
The Lord loves them both. He made, sustained, loves, and saved them both. That’s good news for you and for me, whether you tend to identify more with Mary or with Martha. Or maybe you’re a little like me, who tends more towards Martha, but my meal for you wouldn’t be as good, and if I’m anything like Mary, though I do love a good conversation, I don’t easily cry…
And the Lord loves me.
Truly, once you read to the end of the story, the real heart-issue is a choice. In the middle of really good options, there is always the best choice. And we have to make the choice. Just like Mary, who in this story, chose the best. When we make a choice, we show preference over and above the other options; when we say yes to one, we are saying no to all of the others.
In this, we have choices before us each day, choices that lead us through the biggest decision – Will I choose the best?
Encouraging to me, I saw a good friend of mine do this. A mother of six, she moves gracefully through her children, preparing a meal with a quiet heart towards Jesus. Dicing tomatoes, she may stop to give a smile to a little, direction to another asking, help to the middle in need. Lunch is served, eventually, and everyone’s hearts are taken care of because her heart is abiding in Christ. (May it be so with me, Lord.)
“The worst enemy of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.” – Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest
As I trust the Lord to do the work only He can do in and around and through Tyler and me, the Lord is revealing to me the many choices in front of me, the many times I am given the opportunity to choose the best. I want what is good not to distract me from what is best.
For a simple illustration – because it is in the simple choices, right inside the doors of our own homes, where most of these big decisions will be made, I’ll share about cooking supper.
Surely, cooking supper is part of the best – ministry toward your family, especially your husband. But if when I am cooking supper, I shew away my little, distractions instead of the one I am to be devoted to, am I choosing the best? Am I placing preference in the right place? Am I loving Jesus? loving like Jesus? (this truly is a heart issue… truly a time where you ask the Lord, listen to Him, and do what He instructs.)
In order to choose the best, I need a thought pattern, what I really need is a transformed mind, a new heart. And in Christ, this is mine.
First, I realize I am loved by Him. And I abide in His love. He is preeminent.
Second, I recognize that there are many priorities. Loving the Lord by loving my husband by cooking him dinner, along with showing love to my children in this way is an important priority, and usually has a time assigned to it as well. Supper is around 6pm in my home. And loving my littles by paying attention to them, engaging them to help me in the kitchen in the ways they can, and instructing them as they need it is also priority, even when cooking the supper that is needed around 6pm or everyone will be in a fix.
So I must prepare – myself before the Lord, the supper in time for everyone to be well-loved, showing preference to those most precious to me, The Lord, my husband, my littles, and anyone else who joins us at our table.
And how is any of this accomplished? through prayer-time with Him, through time in the Word with Him, pretty early in the morning…
and instead of letting good be enemy of best, we choose the Best and He generously gives us all good, Himself.