38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-41
I have made some foolish choices in my life. More often than not it is because I chose the urgent over the needful. We are a people driven by the urgent. Whatever we can see, feel, taste, smell or hear gets our attention especially when it satisfies an urgent craving.
Living in a consumer culture we want to be satisfied now and often. It drives us to treat people as objects to satisfy our urgent drive. The breaking news of recent days regarding a major Hollywood producer and his sexual crimes against women actresses, is news worthy but not NEW news. Our world is broken by sin. The one rule of sin is to get what you want at any cost.
Broken in sin, Men and women have long used their power to satisfy urgent wants and desires, irrespective the fallout. Their motto: The end justifies the means. This producer was overheard to have said to one actress, something along the line of: Don't ruin your career by turning down five minutes with me.
As a father, A husband and man of God I am furious that predators like this man abuse power and destroy lives. Theologically I understand it as the outcome of SIN. A force that has threefold purpose according to John 10:10 "kill, steal and destroy". Everything this producer thought he gained is lost.
He may not escape his bondage but if he did for a moment...Just long enough to view his damage: ruined lives, careers, reputations, achievements, broken friendships, money, his wife left him, an empire in his field given over to others and likely sold for pennies on the dollar. If he could see the destruction of his own soul. The ugly darkness in the core of his being. And for all of it, he is still driven by the urgent. His need is still unmet. All that he thought would fill his need has left him empty.
I don't know the full story of this producer whose evil acts are now public knowledge, that said, he probably did not start out life with any of this in mind. The pattern that leads to destruction for all mankind begins on a path where individual passions, desires, lusts and cravings are given urgent daily attention. Over time as one travels this path the difference between what is Urgent and what is Needful gets blurred. The urgent is the needful.
In the Bible story above, Martha is not an evil person she is a person caught up in the day to day urgent issues. So captured, by the urgent, is Martha, that she is offended that Mary is not fully engaged with her in the urgent.
Martha was driven by the things she was upset about, by the things that were undone, by the things that troubled her the most. Even if all those things were accomplished in that single day, tomorrow would present her with a brand new list of urgent things, to upset her day. Jesus speaks into this endless cycle of urgency that Martha was living.
One thing is needed. That one thing is a right relationship with God through Jesus. All of life must orientate through that perspective. God first! It is easy to say but challenging to live out. The call of the urgent is constant. The drum beat of the urgent is compelling us to feed the beast. We can win! In this story Mary finds her fulfillment at Jesus feet.
Mary sat, Martha was distracted. I'm not saying we can ignore what happens around us in life. I am not saying do nothing but sit in your room with your Bible open praying. I am saying don't let your life be driven by distractions, lusts. cravings or things that have a temporal shelf life. Do what is needful.
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