Remember in Gospel reading, Jesus gently reprimands Martha, not because he’s against hospitality (Martha’s gift), but because she has lost her perspective. She stopped looking at her Lord as she focused on the details of her activities.
Although an activity might be very good, if we forget the Lord we’re serving and we neglect to slow down for quiet time to build our relationship with him, we’re setting ourselves up for burn-out and wrong decisions and sin.
Hospitality is a gift we give to God. Working to support our families is also a gift for God. So is scrubbing floors, cooking scrumptious meals, and (I personally find this one hard to believe) ironing clothes. Serving in our parishes and towns, raising our children, reaching out to the poor, helping to prevent abortions, working against injustice, etc., are all Godly activities. BUT not when we get so busy that we don’t have time to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus.
Watching the news on TV without keeping our eyes on Jesus can cause anxiety and fear. Trudging through problems or unpleasant tasks or difficult relationships without quieting ourselves to become aware of the presence and guidance of Jesus causes frustration and upset and despair.
If we are upset about details, if we feel anxious, fearful, worried, or confused, then we’ve not been sitting at the feet of Jesus long enough. These negative emotions are warnings. They are also chinks in our armor, i.e., the Armor of God that we Christians have been given to wear (see Ephesians 6) — they are holes of vulnerability that the Enemy uses to pull us even farther away from the feet of Jesus.
No Christian has any valid reason to be in fear or anxiety. It’s an opportunity for healing through psychological and possibly medical therapy. Or else it’s a sin, because we’ve wandered away from Jesus and his wisdom and his renewing strength and his peace. Compounding the problem, we inflict our bad mood upon others and send it rippling out into the world.
The only way to “choose the better part” is to slow down and force ourselves to sit with Jesus and remain quietly in his presence, not moving from our prayer chair until we’ve become fortified and recharged by God.
Whenever a new opportunity to worry comes along, Jesus is waiting for you, arms open, hoping that you will stop long enough to be blessed by his love.
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica