The story of Jesus’ visit with Mary and Martha never fails to resonate. I see Martha slaving in the kitchen, muttering under her breath between passive-aggressive sighs, while Mary and Jesus chat amiably in the next room.
“You are worried and upset about many things,” Jesus counsels Martha, “ but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” His response seems so unfair…somebody has to fix supper. Why should Martha get stuck with all the work?
But distribution of labor is not the point. Attitude is the real issue. Martha’s attitude sabotages her ability to see the possibility for joy in her midst. Caught in the energies of obligation and burden, she’s stuck in victim mode. I know the cycle well.
One Sunday before service, my mind racing with the preparatory details, Anne appeared before me with a printout she wanted to share.
“I can only deal with what’s right in front of me,” I said, more sternly than intended while scanning the room for someone I thought I needed to see immediately.
“I’m right in front you,” she replied, a touch of irony in her voice.
We parted. Too late, I realized I was absent from the moment, its potential for joy sabotaged by busyness of mind.
To be aware that God is present in every moment, and to savor the joy they bring is among life's greatest gifts. It’s a sin to miss them. Not because we’re punished for transgressing, but because we rob ourselves of what is most sacred.
So hold today’s concerns lightly, and know the one thing needed is to bring forth the divine love and joy that dwells within you.