Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." (Luke 10:38-40 NASB)
There is a tendency for us to think that Mary had a wonderful response to Jesus' visit and that Martha had a totally poor response. In fact, Martha began by welcoming Jesus warmly and sincerely. She was delighted to see Him and His disciples. She welcomed Him in, found Him a place to sit, and made Him comfortable, then began preparations for a meal for her guests. It was her home and, she felt, her responsibility. The problem was that Martha let preparations for the meal and her idea of service override spending time with her Lord. She began well, but she didn't stay the course.
Mary, on the other hand, was also delighted to see Jesus. She responded to His presence by sitting at His feet, just as a student would with their teacher, and listening to Him talk. She hung on every word because she wanted those words to be alive in her life. She was soaking in His presence and nothing else mattered. It was His words, not His dinner, that mattered most to Mary.
We live in a society that is consumed with doing, with a constant barrage of activities that threaten to overwhelm us completely. In the midst of busyness, our tendency is to soldier on, never stopping to make a change. Are you overwhelmed by busy? Is every minute of your day scheduled, every day of your week too full? How much of that time is spent worshipping and learning at the feet of Jesus?
Our Lord comes to us every day with opportunities to spend time with Him. He desires our service, and there is no doubt about that, but the first service He desires is our attentive presence at His feet. No matter what else we do to serve our Lord, we must begin at His feet, eager, listening, and willing to learn from our Master and to worship Him. Let's be sure we have the heart of Mary, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness before all else. When we do, everything else will fall in place.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NASB)