I had been in Mae Sot a whole minute before the Father whispered into my ear, “Mary and Martha.”
It was a slow morning, the first slow morning I had since leaving the States almost a week earlier. Kristy was on a short trip to Bangkok, and I was home alone fighting the kind of intense jet lag that comes with an 11 hour time difference. The rumbling of my soul echoed deeply, feeling all kinds of lost in this new place, in this big transition. But Mary and Martha, that was something familiar, a story I knew well.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their journey, they came to a village where a woman welcomed Jesus into her home. Her name was Martha and she had a sister named Mary. Mary sat down attentively before the Master, absorbing every revelation he shared. But Martha became exasperated by finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests, so she interrupted Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.”
The Lord answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42 (TPT)
Do you hear it? Do you feel it? Do you see the loving invitation of Jesus. More than reprimanding Martha, His words carry a sweetness to them, an invitation to be one who is privileged. They beckon. They beg.
Sit at my feet. Be with me. It is a privilege I won’t take away.
His gentle, humble heart whispered to my own hustling, proving, striving heart, “Sit at my feet. Set aside your striving and hustling and proving. Set aside your working and doing. Be. Be with me. This is the one thing most important.”
It’s been over two months since Jesus stretched out His hand and invited me to sit with Him, to be with Him, to long for His presence more than anything else. And it seems like every day, I have to choose.
I have to choose to set aside my working and doing and striving. I have to choose to sit at His feet. I have to choose to be with him, undistracted.
And I have come to believe that this choice, this decision, this conscious effort to be with Jesus, to sit at His feet truly is the one thing most important.
I am a doer. I am a prover. I am a striver. I am a perfectionist. I love to work. I love to build things, to watch things grow. I love to move. I’m not good at simply being, at least not most days, and nothing feels more counter to who I am than to believe that this being is more important than
than getting things done.
Day by day by day, I am practicing this. I am practicing being with Jesus. I’m practicing, not performing. Some days–lots of days–I fail. I fall and fall short. I find myself living in the belief that my own work and effort and striving can accomplish more than spending my time in the presence of Jesus. I find myself too busy, letting my own agenda dictate my time with Jesus. I find myself distracted.
And so every day I practice, no where near perfect.
But what I’ve found in this beautiful privilege of sitting at the feet of Jesus is that He longs to meet me there. He longs to speak to me as I sit and listen. He longs to sing over me with delight. He longs to whisper the name He gave me so long ago. He longs to fill me with His perfect love until I am full to overflowing. He longs to help me practice this life of being, because He longs for me to be dependent on Him. He longs to show me how He will meet me in my weaknesses. He longs to show me how much He loves me.
These might seem like the ramblings of a “missionary,” someone who has left their life in the States for a life serving overseas. It might seem like something that only certain people are called to. It might seem impossible for you. But if this kind of life is just for the missionaries or those with seemingly more time on their hands, than I think we’ve missed the point.
Because what I’m learning is this being, this sitting at the feet of Jesus is exactly what we are all called to. I believe that the Father extends His hand to you and me every day, asking us to choose the one thing most important. I believe the Father longs to meet us in this practice of sitting with him, believe that being in His presence is the most important practice of our lives.
I believe that He longs to whisper to our doubtful, busy hearts, “This is the one thing most important, and I will not take this privilege from you.”
So may we–you and I– practice being. May we practice sitting at Jesus’ feet. May we practice believing that this is the one thing most important. May we practice believing that it is more important than hustling, than working, than striving, than performing and perfecting. May we practice believing that it is more important than being busy and serving and doing the other million good things.
And may we believe that it is a privilege to be in Jesus’ presence. May we trust that He will meet us there. And may we know that He will not take this privilege away from us.