Each Sunday morning I lead a group of college and young adult aged men and women through some sort of Bible lesson, discussion, etc. (Yes, it’s a Sunday School class; there’s just something about the phrase “Sunday School” that makes me cringe a little.) Last Sunday we talked a bit about the account of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-42. If you’re not familiar with the passage, Jesus applauds Mary for sitting at his feet, while encouraging Martha to be less concerned about the “many things” that cause her to be “anxious” and “troubled” and to be more concerned with him. Naturally, I encouraged the group to make time for the most important thing–their relationship with Jesus–in the midst of other important things–relationships, school, work, etc.
Then Wednesday happened.
Wednesdays are always busy days for me. On a typical Wednesday I’m usually up around 5am, at the church office at 9am, and finally get back home around 10-11pm. But this past Wednesday made a typical Wednesday look like a walk in the park.
The day started with a doctor’s appointment for Owen, which revealed a nasty ear infection along with some other medical issues that his pediatrician wanted to examine further. Then it was off to the lab for blood work (which, might I add, is absolutely miserable for a one year old and parents). I finally made it into the office around 12:30 where I managed to get caught up on Wednesday night youth group preparations before venturing back out to run some work errands, pick up O’s prescriptions, and swing by to check in on the family. I got back to the church building around 5pm, jumped right into youth band practice which ran right up until our gathering started at 6:30. For the next hour and half we sang, laughed at people eating disgusting flavors of jelly beans, sang some more, and talked about Jesus. No sooner than I had said “amen” on the closing prayer, Kelli informed me that we needed to take Owen to the hospital as a result of some of the aforementioned medical issues. So off to the hospital we went–and after an X-ray, a CT scan, some IV fluids and a lot of waiting, I finally laid down to sleep around 4am (which would’ve been later were it not for a self-sacrificing wife).
But what I didn’t tell you was that throughout the vast majority of that Wednesday I carried around a bottle of Coca Cola that I had purchased earlier in the day. It was one of those bottles from the “Share a Coke” campaign that had a random name on it. But for that particular Wednesday, I don’t think the name was very random at all. What was the name?
Martha. You know–the Martha from passage I had just talked through the previous Sunday. The Martha that was so preoccupied, troubled, and anxious with her “many things” that she nearly missed the most important thing.
The Martha that I encouraged my group not to be that week was the Martha that I had been that day. I had gotten so caught up in doctors appointments, schedules, preparations, and yes, even ministry, that I had neglected just sitting at the feet of Jesus.
I don’t want to be the guy that over-spiritualizes every little thing–but what a subtle reminder to practice what I preach. More importantly, what a reminder not to miss the most important thing in the midst of other important things.
And clearly, God enjoys Coke more than Pepsi.