Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered. You are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (NIV translation.)
In 2006 I co-wrote A Little Book Of Listening Skills with Dr. Mark Brady. The book (now out of print) highlighted 52 different skills to improve your listening skills (and therefore your relationships and your life). Most of us feel that we are a good listener, when in fact, most of us are not. We let our worries and our fears get in the way (among other things I’ll cover in future posts) of being fully present to another’s truth.
I like the story about listening that is told in the book of Luke, chapter 10, verses 38-42. Jesus visited a small village and was invited into a home where two sisters, Mary and Martha lived. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened, taking in his teaching. Martha, on the other hand, scurried about, worried about the food and making a good impression. Martha became frustrated that she was doing all of the work by herself. She asked Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help her.
Jesus answered Martha: “You are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus let Martha know that listening to him was far more important than worrying about the appearance of the house, or the food, or making an impression.
How often do you worry yourself with things to do, instead of sitting quietly and listening to what God has to say? I know I have a tendency to “get busy,” especially when I feel I have to impress others. I also find myself “getting busy” when I’m bored, frustrated or worried.
I have to remember that Jesus said that the thing that is needed, is to listen to Him. I can’t listen if I am scurrying around. I have to put down what I am doing. I have to sit still and be quiet. I have to focus on Him. I have to stop worrying about impressing anyone. I just need to listen. To Him.