38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary,who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus calls us to serve (Matthew 23:11). So why does he seem to be discouraging this in Martha's case? It is possible in our serving to eventually cut our selves off from the very thing that nourished our desire to serve. How does this happen? Martha was distracted. Jesus is not offering a critique of her preparation. In fact preparation is usually a good thing. Rather it is her priorities that concerns Jesus. He calls Mary's actions the "better". A singularity of focus on God's presence is more essential than all the worthy outcomes we strive to produce.
How often are we distracted by good things at the expense of better things? What activity keeps us from hearing God's voice? Relationship is the fountainhead of our faith. Jesus calls us to himself first and then to labor from the overflow of that relationship. We must make regular opportunities to set aside our distractions and listen at the Lord's feet. It is a matter of being before doing.
What distracts me from listening to God's voice?
Jesus, how easily I am distracted. Sometimes I am so busy doing the good that I miss the better. Help me to see that the means is as important to you as the ends. Let me have the kind of relationship with you that longs for your presence and not just your power. Show me the times you have given me when I can be near you listening to what you have to say.