I suspect that many of you, like me, struggle with getting your priorities right. We allow the ‘many things’ to crowd out the more important ‘one thing’.
In the Bible we meet those who ‘got it right’ and those who did not. Two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived in the attractive village of Bethany. On one occasion, when Jesus visited them, Martha complained about Mary’s lack of activity. He said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about MANY THINGS but ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’, Luke chapter 10 verses 41-42. Martha could not be faulted for her practical service; however, it was in the setting of priorities, where she fell short. She let ‘the many things’ get in the way of ‘the one thing’. Her preoccupation with service distracted her, verse 40, and led to her complaint.
Meeting the physical needs of others has an important part to play in our service but we must not allow it to take precedence over addressing their spiritual needs. It is clear that Jesus was teaching the guests in Martha’s house; indeed, we read that Mary ‘also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word’, verse 39. There was no more important activity than to listen to Jesus and Mary got this priority right! The word ‘also’ tells us that she served but she also recognised the greater importance of listening to Jesus.
I pray that each one of us will get our priorities right and make time each day to listen to what Jesus has to say to us in the Bible. May I suggest that, if you do not already have a Bible reading plan, you make it a priority to read through the Gospel of Mark this week?