Choosing the Better Part

By: Ginger Hughes

Today there are crayons, construction paper, and glue sticks with no tops stuck to my table from my little one’s “art” project.

There’s a half-done puzzle littering our living room floor.

There’s a pile of mismatched socks in the laundry room that I’d started working through and have yet to complete.

There are laundry baskets full to overflowing.

There’s a computer with a blinking cursor just waiting for me to finish some important projects I’ve hoped to complete.

There’s the Bible study I’m supposed to help lead that still sits undone.

There are work deadlines coming too quickly.

And the list goes on and on.

I take a look around at my life and I see messy. I see undone. I see incomplete.

So in an effort to do what needs to be done, I work harder, striving diligently to accomplish all of the things that need to be accomplished. And in working to do all of these important and necessary things, I sometimes miss the very best thing.

It’s so easy to allow our to-do lists, jobs, and children’s activities to squeeze out the part of our life that is most important: our faith. Before we know it, we’re attending church less and less, reading our Bible rarely if ever, and even our prayers are short and sandwiched between our other activities.

In our effort to do it ALL, we actually miss out on the most important of ALL.

We know there are “necessary” parts of life. There is school and work. There is grocery shopping and cooking. We’re not going to send the kids to school in dirty clothes, or to bed with no supper.

But often, what I think of as “necessary” really isn’t. Many of the things on my list can wait, though we are often conditioned to believe the opposite. We’re conditioned to believe that the “better part” equals accomplishment, and it can be challenging to realize this isn’t always the case.

I’m reminded of a story in Luke where Jesus and His Disciples have been invited to eat at the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. As soon as Jesus entered their home, Martha immediately began making preparations. I can picture her frantically working to put together the best meal possible with such short notice. I can envision her hurriedly cleaning their home so it would appear as nice as possible for their guests.

Wouldn’t you do the same? I know I would.

But Mary…Mary went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His stories. Martha was undone, and I can’t say that I blame her. After all, dinner won’t cook itself. In frustration, she walks over to Jesus and asks, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

And Jesus answers, “Martha, you are worried and upset about so many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Friends, Martha was doing important things.

We too are doing important things.

But let’s not make the mistake of allowing important things to overshadow, or perhaps even replace, the best thing.

Let’s be sure we make time to sit at the feet of Jesus.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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