“I can’t believe I did it again,” she said as her eyes filled with tears.
“Did what again?” I asked gently. She was obviously upset so I chose my words and tone carefully so she would feel free to talk.
“I had friends and family in from out of town, and rather than spend time with them, I busied myself in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up.”
I thought about this for a minute before answering.
“It’s the old Mary/Martha thing isn’t it?”
“Yes!!” She exclaimed. “If you see me doing that in the future, would you tell me? I don’t want to regret not spending time with the people I love ever again!”
This conversation made me go to the Bible and reread the story of Mary and Martha. I saw something that I hadn’t seen before (in bold below.)
“While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42 CSB http://bible.com/1713/luk.10.38-42.csb
What was Jesus saying? Was He saying that Mary chose a better path because she was learning from Jesus?
Or, could it be that Jesus pointed out that choosing people over tasks is the better way?
Jesus came to show us a better way. His way is love and always will be. However, what is the object of our love? People or work?
The same week I heard the news that some friends were separating. I know he loved his wife at one time, but in the effort to provide for her, he worked long hours and forgot how to love her. Love means making time to be with someone. It means spending time to re-connect, to listen, to talk, to be present. It means to choose them over tasks.
The tasks will be there and there will be time to do them. The people may not be.
Which will you regret? Not getting a task done or not loving the people around you?
Be like Mary. Choose relationship, and it (or they) will not be taken from you. Not really. Because even if they pass away, you will always know you loved them well.