One recent Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church , our teenage son decided to tell us he wasn’t making it, because he didn’t complete an assignment and it was due that day. As most parents do, we expressed our disappointment and lectured him about his priorities being unbalanced. He did end up getting dressed and joining us, but as you can imagine, the car ride to church was not the best as the silence was deafening!
During our worship time, I could only think of the conversation and how sad I was to have that exchange. Of course replaying the conversation and wishing I had done things differently. Our goal as parents is to want our kids to want Jesus more than anything and we expect this to just automatically happen even when a teenager is a teenager and his frontal lobe isn’t fully developed!
As I was reflecting, I was reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus is visiting and Martha is in a tizzy cooking and cleaning while Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet . Martha proceeds to call Mary out for not helping , suggesting her priorities are confused, then Jesus reminds her that Mary has made the wiser choice .
This story is a near perfect representation of our daily lives. The unexpected happens, our normal routine is thrown off, rowdy and unpredictable people invade our lives, multiple activities beg for our attention, and yet those who are walking in faith still settle at the feet of Jesus. I long to be one of those faithful few. Of course I feel even more convicted thinking about my conversation with my son, I struggle with balancing my priorities too. Mary realized Jesus was the ultimate Source of everything her heart desired and needed. She sensed it. She felt it. She believed it. Purpose was found in Him—not in her service, not in the approval of man, not in appearances, not in physical sustenance or a put-together home. In Him alone.
In contrast to her sister’s busyness, Mary laid everything down in pursuit of Christ: Her pride—she was sitting at Jesus’ feet.
The approval of others—she didn’t care what others thought of her actions. Her efforts to perform—she didn’t need applause or accolades for a well-cooked meal. Her need to provide—she realized Jesus was the great Sustainer and Provider.
I pray that I can be a better example of setting my priorities straight ! I am prideful at times and definitely seek the approval of others. I pray that I can “practice what I preach “ as I so very much want my son to “get it”. The reality is, he has to want it too, not because I demand it or expect it. Jesus chatted with Martha gently, reminding her of what’s important, not just wanting to get her attention and affection, but he was trying to get her heart. I know Jesus is sovereign enough to draw my son to Him too!