In which I’m all focused…then…”Oooooh!!! Shiny!!!”

by Craig on February 2, 2012

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Martha was doing the good part
Jesus told her Mary chose the better part. (LK 10:42)

Isn’t it funny that all of us seem to choose a horse in this Martha and Mary race?

Me?
I’m a Mary…
sit me down in a Seminary library…
and bury me with theology…
and I’m a purring little kitten on a warm lap.

But wash the dishes?
Get the car inspected?
Do the day-to-day stuff?
I don’t much heart that.

And so I’m thinking…
maybe sometimes doing laundry is the better part
and studying Scripture is just the good part.

I now have much greater insight about these sisters…
and it’s because of you guys…

and your comments from the last Martha and Mary post

First there’s Martha (and how could I not give her theory credence – she’s a legit Martha! ツ) She wrote that Martha (the other Martha) was, “dabbling instead of doing”.

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That is good!

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Epiphany!

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I’m a little bit of Martha!
That’s not an easy thing for a Mary to admit.

Dawn cuts Martha some slack – no wonder – because she’s a Martha. She wrote, “What if her love of the Savior were so natural that it was like cleaning and preparing food, and it mystified her why her sister had to stop to love on the Savior?”

Maybe Martha was a multi-tasker…
and Mary, like me, was easily distracted…
and sitting and listening was the better part for her
and maybe not so much for Martha.

After all…
Jesus didn’t scold Martha…
just complimented Mary.

I bet he complimented Martha when he ate the food that Mary didn’t cook.

And Cora wrote this, “Martha saw what needed to be done…and her side kick chose a very inopportune time to worship!”

Maybe Martha really needed the extra hand.
Maybe Mary needed to give up a little of the better thing
so her sister would have a chance at it too.

Victoria wrote, “I think she was avoiding something and that busyness was a great distraction…she was avoiding the plunge into an incredible journey because the beginning of the plunge is so difficult.”

I have nothing to add to that point…
except that I’m suddenly convicted.
I’m not much of a plunger.
I ponder, ad infinitum, the next step…

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but when it comes time to take the step…
I too often choose to ponder. more. instead.

Also, maybe what we consider to be “the plunge” is different for all of us.

Debra drove that last point home for me. “Some folks are just contemplatives and others are work horses and busy bees.”

Maybe we all need to be both Martha and Mary?

And my theory on Mary and Martha?

I was all set to focus…

and write my opinion today….

but instead….

Enough said. Right?

Tomorrow…

I’ll focus and finish this tomorrow.

Please come back.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando February 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Craig, what an amazing post! You used everyone’s comments so beautifully; the shared thoughts reveal how all of us can have different takes on Mary and Martha depending upon our own points of view. I feel like I’ve attended group Bible study! And, a fantastic one, at that!
Another thought, based loosely on Debra’s – I thought of these sisters as yin and yang, opposites yet compliments to each other.
And, I think we all have our Martha and Mary sides within us.
Can’t wait for tomorrow . . . I will be back! :)
Blessings!

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Craig February 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Martha, I learn so much from this comment section – I once thought blogging would be all about pontificating – but it’s not – it’s about participating – gee – that would be a good blog post title! The sisters ARE kind of yin and yang – but that’s the way it is and families anyway – I’m opposite from my older brother – my sister is opposite from my younger brothers – and together we complement. Good point! And amen – we need to be both Martha AND Mary – except for you – because you’re already Martha.ツ God bless you!

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Debbie February 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Oh Craig . . .I’ve been absent, maybe being a Martha. :) But I love this, mostly because I guess I have to do a lot of the day to day stuff and remember someone admonishing me, reminding me of Mary. So thank you for more looks at this, and thank you to your amazing readers and their comments. :) And the pictures, Craig . . .so purfect!
God bless you as you worship and plunge in!

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Craig February 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Debbie, I see you as a little bit of my opposite – you do the day-to-day stuff really well I bet. And you multitask far better than me – just because you’re a mom. and this wasn’t going to be a cat centered post – but one picture just led to the other – to the other – to the other – and voilà – funny cats! ツ SO cute! God bless you too Debbie!

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Kristin February 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I loved this post! I’ve always been a Martha but as I get older I am becoming more of a Mary. I’ve pondered this before, (you know how I like to ponder;) and I think it’s good to be a little of both, otherwise those dishes and laundry would never get done! But I’m savoring my time with the Lord now, maybe because my nest is more empty than it used to be.
As always, I love the pictures! I believe that is the first pondering cat I have seen :)

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Craig February 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

funny, Kristin– I’ve always been a Mary – and I hope to become more of a Martha as I get older (ツ) and I’m with you – I think it may be good to be a little of both. And I didn’t mean this to be a cat post – but as I was searching for pictures – they kept popping up – they were brilliant! And they all made me smile – so I HAD to put them all in. Funny cat pictures in a Martha and Mary post – I heart that! Thank you Kristen – God bless you!

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Victoria February 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I think I’m both too. I’ve even had Mary moments in my Martha times. This got me to thinking though. If My Lord were at my house and I needed to feed everyone, most especially my Lord, I don’t know if I could take the time to worship the way Mary did. I think too, I’d start getting flustered if everything wasn’t just right and might even sigh loud enough to try to send a whispered hint, “I need help.” There are so many ways of looking at this. For example, what if what Martha was doing WAS her act of worship. Anyway…obviously Jesus wasn’t asking for perfection in the meal, He was asking for time to be taken with Him to maybe even help shore His resolve for what He was about to do. OR (am I making too much of this?) He knew that Martha would lament the time she missed with Him when He was gone while Mary would have no regrets. What Mary did was the best thing.
Last point. I think it goes without saying that Mary was seeing with spiritual eyes and Martha was seeing with earthly eyes. Spiritual eyes? plunge now. Earthly eyes? plunge maybe later?
Spiritual eyes…prepare the sacrifice. Earthly eyes…prepare FOR the sacrifice.
I don’t know.
May God bless your year of “see” with spiritual eyes.

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Craig February 5, 2012 at 6:09 am

first, the story came into my mind because one of the thing that’s happening to me right now – a strong desire to avoid things which are actually better for me – which make me happier. That’s strange I know. I see Martha as avoiding something here that would’ve been far better for her. Every guess you’ve made about the motivations for everyone – I think they’re brilliant – and insightful – and all of them could be true. I think YOU are seeing the story with good spiritual eyes!! God bless you Victoria!

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Dawn February 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Craig,

I laughed out loud when you said “no wonder” at my giving Martha slack. I can see your eyes rolling in a nonchalant way, perhaps even whistling a bit? It was pure joy coming here because I really really really like the exchanges. The comment section is the favorite part of my postings. Like you, I learn so very much from my visitors. We’re all going to meet someday and it will be glorious!

You said, “After all…Jesus didn’t scold Martha, He complimented Mary.” You know, I don’t think Jesus would have commented at all except that Martha began to criticize Mary.
She asked Him if He didn’t think Mary ought to help her. Then, she got what He thought! Jesus wired us. Some are wired to get tasks done first. For some of us relationship trumps tasks every time. Jesus says, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will come.” Matthew 6:33. I think we all find different ways to put Him first, ways that fit the way we were created. Jesus accepts us as we are. What He won’t accept is our judging another’s way. Ouch! [I lifted this from my Mary and Martha post from last year because I had forgotten this important point and I thought others may find it helpful.]

I LOVED the cat pics. Great post in every way!
Dawn

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Craig February 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Dawn, there was no ey really get all – but there was a little smile because I knew you would read it – and you would smile –you Martha YOU. ANd a laugh when I saw your comment here (ツ) And a very good point about what Jesus WON”T accept!!! AND KATZ RULE! God bless you!

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Michelle February 6, 2012 at 5:20 am

“Some folks are just contemplatives and others are work horses and busy bees.” – I work with two Martha’s (task oriented) and I’m a Mary (people oriented). And yet there are times it is the other way around. I guess God has us all working together (as managers in an op shop) so that stuff gets done, but volunteers are looked after. And we always complement what the other is doing. :) I also love the cartoon at the beginning.

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Craig February 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Michelle, I heart this! This is key to so much! What you wrote, “And we always complement what the other is doing” – that’s magical – that’s love! And that first picture of the cat in the laser – I’ll have to take one of Laska sometime soon – he hearts his laser – we have to come up with a name for it though – maybe toy that iz red an hydz ツ God bless you my friend.

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