38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
As I wrap up this series on bringing focus back to life, a quick look at Mary’s life can be very helpful. Here are a couple things I see from this passage that will assist in maintaining the right focus and opening my spiritual ears to God’s voice.
One major difference between Martha and Mary is the one thing versus many things. My life can be overcrowded with all kinds of things and some of those…most of those are good things. Cutting back and cutting things out is a must if I am to hear God more clearly and be able to see life with better focus. There must be times in life when there is only one thing on the priority list and that’s hearing from God. Setting aside regular time for silence and solitude is a great practice in keeping the focus on one thing.
My life is full of choices, just like everyone. However, the choices I make are a great part of what distinguishes me from you. If I am to seriously gain focus for the future and hear from God, I must use “leisure” time to listen and pay attention to God. What I do in “downtime”, what I do in private time with God, and what I do busy times of life, all affect how well I hear from God. Making good choices with my time, money, use of resources, relaxation, and education, among many other faucets of life, contribute to how well or how poorly I sense God’s presence.
Mary did just that: she took advantage of the chance she had. She had no idea if Jesus was coming to her house again. She surely wasn’t going to miss the chance she had right there and then to meet with him and listen to anything and everything He would have to say. If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s that in a busy life, downtime, quiet time, or vacation time can be few and far between. Therefore, when I get a chance to listen; Take it. When I get some time to be alone with God; Take it! When I sense God may be leading and speaking: Pay attention. Taking advantage of each moment to reaffirm God’s love for me, His call on my life, and direction for the future, is proving to be invaluable as life remains busy and full.
Over the course of the next couple of days, I’ll be taking some time to do just that. I’ll be being quiet, seeking to hear and paying attention to God’s voice. May I encourage you to do the same as soon as you can? You just might hear God in a way you never have before! God is asking: can you hear Me now? What’s your response?
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Creative/Mission Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA