In the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10, we see a woman who loved Jesus, but thought she didn’t have enough time to sit, listen, and enjoy Him. Luke 10:39 says Martha was “distracted with much serving.” Martha wasn’t avoiding Jesus because she was snapchatting her boyfriend that her dad didn't approve of. She wasn’t dodging Jesus because she was the kingpin of a drug empire and wanted to shirk God’s commands. She was just too busy.
If we’re honest, for most of us, it isn’t the Hollywood sins that choke out our faith; it’s all the worries of life. The daily grind and endless distractions make it too noisy for us to hear God clearly each day. It’s the urgency of every moment, the entertainment options that occupy our attention, the 24-hour news cycles we cling to. All the distractions and noise around us simply box the Spirit of God right out of our day.
What if we unplugged, changed our schedule, and decided to sit and listen to Jesus? What if we decided that enjoying time with Jesus was better than watching the ballgame or checking the news or responding to the email?
Martha was fuming when she stepped up to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” Read her rhetorical question again. Martha asked Jesus if He cared about her circumstances! She was so focused on serving Jesus that she lost sight of Jesus.
Often, we are like Martha. We lose sight of Jesus even when we’re in the midst of serving Him. What we need to do is redirect our attention back onto Jesus. In order to reorient our attention, we have to do 3 things:
- Create margin.
- Choose rest in Christ over busyness.
- Unplug from technology.
First, we have to create margin so that we can be reminded often who we are and whose we are. Martha was so busy that she became “anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). Her busyness allowed her to forget that Jesus cares about her circumstances and troubles. Similarly, we overschedule, say "yes" to too many things, and then technology or media eats up any other margin that we might have. We each have to create space and margin in our daily lives so that we can sit and enjoy time with God by reading His Word and praying.
Second, we have to choose rest in Christ over busyness. Busyness makes us feel accomplished. Busyness makes us feel needed or important. The fact is, however, busyness distracts us from the “good portion” (Luke 10:42) that Jesus offers to us. We must choose to prioritize our time with God, because, in Jesus, we find true rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29).
Lastly, we have to regularly unplug from technology. If you think you don’t have time to be idle and seek the Lord in some stillness, evaluate the media you have consumed in the past fourteen days. Between Netflix, social media, and cat videos on YouTube, not to mention texts, emails, and notifications, how much time have you invested in technology and media in the past two weeks?
That text message is not essential. That email is not essential. That notification is not essential. Time with the Father is essential! Enough with the excuses; we do have time. We must decide to unplug from the phone, tablet, and television and choose to “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).
Let’s not give Martha a bad rap here. Martha isn’t this sinister, selfish character in the Bible. Martha loved Jesus. This isn’t a love issue. It wasn’t that Martha didn’t want to sit and listen to Jesus, she just thought she didn’t have time. She wasn’t doing anything bad, she was just being pulled away from what is better.