11 Apr Few Things Are Needed…
Over the past 8 days, I’ve been fighting a pretty horrendous virus. Despite a negative test, doctors are still treating me as a ‘Suspected Positive COVID19’ patient, and as such I have been isolated in my room away from my family. Today is the first day I’ve started feeling a bit better, and I’m hoping the worst of this is behind me. Since this entire experience began, I decided to make a conscious effort to look towards the light – seeking His will first and trying to learn any good lesson possible to keep my mind from going where it shouldn’t. I’m happy to say that I’m feeling well enough to share with you what He has placed on my heart this week.
There’s a story in the Bible about two sisters – Mary and Martha. Jesus is invited into their home to join them for dinner. Martha knows what an amazing gift it is to have Jesus in her home and immediately begins to prepare the most epic and perfect dinner party possible. I can see her now – searching Pinterest for floral arrangement inspiration and recipes… looking at blogs for how to best set the table… shining the silver that she hasn’t used since she got it as a wedding gift… hand washing her china… cleaning the whole house… diffusing the most fragrant essential oils… cooking the entire meal from scratch – every detail decadent and fit for a king.
As the story goes, Martha rushes throughout the house preparing everything and her sister Mary, instead of offering to help, sits on the un-vacuumed living room floor and just listens to what Jesus has to say – leaving Martha to do all the work. When Martha suggests that Jesus encourage Mary to (literally) help a sista out, Jesus tells Martha this:
“few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s a time and a place for the Marthas of the world, and she was just as much beloved to Jesus as her sister was. Marthas love to create a perfect space for others to enjoy and celebrate and learn. They throw their all into the task at hand and they do it all to see the look of enjoyment and excitement on the faces of those they’re doing it for. Martha was doing all of this work for Jesus, after all – her heart was in the right place… right?
I’m a classic enneagram 3 and I identify so much with Martha. Take Easter for example – in my mind, I have to do all the activities with my kids to teach them the true story, make sure they get photos on the Easter Bunny’s lap, sign up for all the egg hunts, dye eggs, make sure we all have great outfits to wear to church, prepare a brunch, and fill two Easter baskets. Each year, I save my personal encounter with Jesus on Easter for the church service – that’s my time to soak it in, and always feel a twinge of conviction – that ache in my heart that next year, I’ll be more focused on Him – simply Him. This year, as I lie in my bed recovering in a room away from my family, thinking of all the experiences my kids are missing out on this Easter, I can feel Jesus saying to me “Chandler, few things are needed—or indeed only one…” He’s calling me out from my inner Martha and into my inner Mary… to just sit at His feet this year and to soak Him in.
And I know I’m not the only one He’s calling to just come and sit at His feet. This year, there is no church service with pomp and circumstance. There’s no fancy Easter brunch. There’s nowhere to buy a new dress and certainly nowhere to wear it to. There’s no egg hunt at the country club or Spring festival at school. No line to sit on the bunny’s lap, either. This holiday has been stripped down to the basics.
And I hate to say this, but I’m fairly certain if I wasn’t locked in my room, I wouldn’t have an encounter with Jesus this year either. I’d fill my days with all the well-intentioned Easter to do’s instead.
… few things are needed–or indeed only one.
Jesus is all.
May we all bask in the simplicity of Easter this year.
May we look to the light and see the only thing worth focusing on is Him and His great love for us.