Have you noticed that whenever you are researching or shopping online that a pop up appears out of nowhere? Either customer service is being offered via a chat with a representative or an advertisement for something completely unrelated to your actual search pops up on the screen. Distractions! These pop ups momentarily take my focus away from what I was trying to research. I then have to intentionally take the time to dismiss this distraction or get even more distracted because I take up the offer to chat with the representative.
What about your phone? How often does it distract you? I can be in the middle of responding to one text and get another text from someone else. Quite often, I will switch to the new incoming text and start engaging in a conversation forgetting about the response I was sending to someone else.
What about setting aside time to spend with God? How often are you distracted from your quiet time with God, because of all you have going on each day? There’s your family obligations, your work, ministry work, scheduled appointments, emergencies, friends who need you, social media distractions, and anything else that tends to pop up and capture part of your day. Also, don’t forget within the 24 hours you are given, that you need time to get dressed, eat a meal or two and get a few hours of rest. Where does the time go?
If you are able to get up and give God the first part of the day He blesses you with, that is great! If you are able to give Him some time at night before going to bed, that is great, too. But are you able to give Him time without being distracted? Are you able to sit still and feel His presence? My answer to the last two questions is “sometimes!” Thankfully, I am doing better than I have in the past. I am grateful God is patient with me as I learn to deal with my distractions so I can enjoy being still in His presence even more.
Luke 12:40-41 tells the story of when Jesus visits Mary and Martha. The verses from the New Living Translation says “But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me”. But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
We often get distracted by comparing what we do to what others are doing. Martha actually told Jesus it was unfair she was working and Mary was sitting around doing nothing! We have been conditioned to think it is better to be busy and moving around rather than to just take a moment to sit down and rest. Imagine Martha’s surprise when Jesus told her that Mary was doing the right thing! I wonder if she tried to continue the conversation with Him to try and prove her point. More importantly, I wonder if she went back to the work she was doing and still missed out on what Mary had discovered.
What do you think Mary discovered? I believe as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, she discovered her Lord and Savior. I believe she discovered the truest form of love. I believe she released all hurt and shame and discovered forgiveness. I believe she felt a peace from all her worries and day to day pressures. The Bible tells us we can cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. I can only imagine that is what Mary did that day. I believe Mary discovered Jesus was the answer to everything she needed.
Jesus was right there in the same house with Mary and Martha. Mary chose to sit with Him and Martha chose to stay busy. How often do you do what Martha chose to do? Jesus is telling you He is right there with you and He wants to spend time with you, but you stay busy. Are you too busy to take a few moments and be still in His presence? Are you missing out on the joy and peace that comes with sitting at His feet? Are you missing out on what Mary discovered?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being so gracious and merciful to me. Thank You for being loving and patient with me each day. Lord, help me to be more like Mary and not become so distracted like Martha, that I miss an opportunity to sit with You. Oftentimes, I get so anxious about my family, my job, my finances, my health, and other things that I just don’t take the time I should to spend with You. Lord, help me to become more like Mary.
Father, I pray that I don’t allow what others are doing to distract me from spending precious time with You. Lord, I desire to make time, more often than I do, to sit with You. Help me to tune out what is going on around me, so that I can become more in tune with You. Lord, in Psalm 23:3 (Message) it says “You are true to your word, you let me catch my breath, and you send me in the right direction.” I pray I will be more intentional in taking the time to sit at Jesus’ feet and catch my breath, so that I can also discover what Mary discovered. In Jesus’ wonderful name, amen!