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Setting the Table.

Aug 22, 2013


I don’t have a kitchen table…or a dining room table…or any table, for that matter. There’s just no room.

I found a bar stool to fit under my counter from a discount store, but as luck would have it, it didn’t quite fit together, and then it was just in the way. I finally hunkered down and bought a “TV tray” but I never really eat on it, either. I normally just chow down while I’m standing in the kitchen doing something else, or if I’m brave, I’ll balance a plate while I’m on the couch and hunched over a book or my computer.

The only reason this is really bothering me is that I used to have my quiet times at the table, and somehow not having one has become my excuse for drive-thru meetings with God … While I’m on the treadmill, brushing my teeth, walking to get the mail, those few minutes before I get out of bed in the morning, etc.And while I’m absolutely agree that God will meet us anywhere, this single gal has MORE than enough time for regular quiet times!

Recently I wandered again to the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. I imagine they were pretty good friends of Jesus…the Bible says He was ‘welcomed’ into the home. But Martha is so consumed by all she has to do that she cannot focus on the presence of Jesus:

38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.[a] 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s[b] feet and was listening to what He said.[c] 40 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.”[d]
41 The Lord[e] answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice,[f] and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

I’m sure there was much to be done around the house, probably scrubbing the house down and cooking up a delicious meal (and there is a lot to be said about operating with excellence), but in a moment where the attention probably should have been on simple fellowship with Jesus, Martha does…while Mary simply ‘IS’.

The only place she is concerned about is the one prepared by God.

I’m always slightly embarrassed when I read through that passage, because I see so much of myself in dear Martha. Some days I have that quiet and gentle spirit that I’m sure Mary must have displayed, the one who sits readily and attentively at the feet of Jesus and just waits for Him, but more often I’m a naturally detail-driven Martha: a doer that hops up in the morning to get the day started and can easily be distracted with all that I have to DO for God, that I get distracted with everything else going on … and deep down in my heart I know that even though He acknowledges what I’m doing, He’s more concerned about the obedience of my heart.

So … here’s what I’m learning : Slow down. Set the table. Enjoy Jesus.