Sometimes it can be too easy to work too hard in doing too much. We can turn a wonderful opportunity for joy, celebration, learning, and love, into an obstacle to those very things, and we may even put the wall up for others as well. Our guests always have to be guarded around us. Instead of the event being the focus, we become the not so star attraction by our need for attention to detail.
This is not only about “special events”. This mentality manifests itself in our daily existence. It is a formula for misery. We try and seize the day and it seizes us up with stress. Like Martha, our cares become too cumbersome (distracted with much serving), and we become complainers (Lord, do you not care), critical (my sister has left me), and commanding (Tell her then to help me). We create deadlines that aren’t there, fail to meet them, and then feel like we’re dead.
Yes, certain things must be done. Our Lord is not teaching us to be lazy. He is teaching us about values. The truth is that we are not to let everyday concern, even labor and time intensive work and duty, keep us from paying attention to what is truly important, our daily relationship with Christ. This is the one thing that is necessary.
We have to watch out for this, even as, and especially as, committed believers. To try and control every situation is to be controlled by every situation. Sometimes you have to sit down, calm down, and slow down, so you can pay attention to Jesus. If you don’t do that, the Lord has to do it providentially.
We want to serve Jesus well, but we must remember that we are to be served by Him in order to be able to serve for Him. Our main problem is not that we don’t try hard enough to be good, but that we haven’t believed the gospel and received its finished reality into all parts of our life. No fresh gospel gas in the tank means a life run on empty energy.