Active like Mary
“…As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”’
- Luke 10:38–42 (NIV)
“God, I wish you would just tell me what it is that you want me to do.”
“But.. what if I don’t want you to do anything for me? I just want to have QTs (quality time) with you every day :)”
I froze. How long have I been too distracted DOING things FOR God and not BEING WITH Him?
We are, first and foremost, called to BE and not DO
When I started Freshman year, I knew that I had three years to make the most out of my college experience — and I didn’t want to waste it. I wanted to find my “passion”.
The truth is, as someone who has many interests, I majored in Business Administration because I wasn’t sure what it is I wanted. I’m okay at everything, but not particularly skilled/passionate about anything.
So.. I did all I can in that first year. I seized every opportunity, joined every organization I saw that might potentially help me “find” my calling/passion, worked two jobs, committed to a church, signed up to go to a study abroad program in my third semester, and did everything that led me to burnout.
In my third semester, I went for the study abroad program in London. Classes were very different, my workload was lighter. I wasn’t working or doing anything else other than writing one to three essays for each class and travelling.
During this ‘restful’ period, it was clear to me that God wanted to speak to me about having a heart like Mary. It was not a coincidence that the Bible study group I joined and the church I went to (a separate organization from the Bible study) discussed the Luke 10:38–42 passage in the same week I wrestled through this topic of rest.
The world glorifies people like Martha — busy, always in a hustle getting things done. Martha’s are.. productive and useful. But Mary? Mary is ‘lazy’, she is a ‘consumer’ than a ‘producer’. She is “passive” (sitting and listening), while Martha is “active” (preparing and working).
However, this is not what God sees. It seems that God sees Mary’s ‘passivity’ as an act of ‘activity’. She chooses to allocate the ‘better’ kind of active — pursuing what ‘cannot be taken away’ from her.
Your value isn’t defined by what you produce, your value is defined by the fact that you are an object of God’s love
God doesn’t need you to do things for him. He is God, he can do things in His own way if he wants to do it. Yet, He chooses to have you participate as His co-worker in the wonderful work He is doing in the world as a being made in His own image :)
Often we think of calling as something we do, something we produce; when one’s highest and ONLY calling is to simply sit at Jesus’ feet — actively delighting in God’s glory as His object of love, reflecting His image.
We are, first and foremost, not called to DO but to BE.
What we DO will come out naturally from where we find our BEING. If you get your source of identity from a firm/unchangeable source — you will attain freedom in what you do.
Let us be like Mary who is active not in doing, but first and foremost in being.
Being with the Father.
Being loved and known by the Father.
Being like the Father.
Being His image bearer.
Find your being in the true, unchangeable Being.