As you may have guessed things have got away from me a little bit this week. Life is a little busy at the moment and spinning plates is an apt picture for what life looks like in the Davis household right now. Inevitably when we've got a lot on, a "plate" gets dropped. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I have a habit of mentally beating myself up during these times. It's not a helpful response; probably a more helpful response is to gain a little perspective.
As I was going through my usual routine of berating myself for being forgetful I was reminded of the story of Mary and Martha - for those who are less familiar with the story you can read it here.
Martha is busy, she and her sister are unexpectedly hosting Jesus (and no doubt his followers too). I imagine there is a lot to do to keep everyone fed and watered and Mary is not exactly being helpful. I really relate to Martha in this situation. I would would be really hacked off with Mary not helping out. I can well imagine that the appeal to Jesus only came after a fair few hints to Mary and some noisy clanging in the kitchen in an effort to motivate Mary to help.
Interestingly, we're not told how Martha responded to Jesus when he didn't send Mary off to help her sister. I think my response to Jesus might have been something like this: "Mary may well have chosen 'the better part' but I suggest she get's in here and helps me if you want there to be anything to eat at any point today!" Maybe Martha was better than me, maybe she joined her sister sitting at feet. I'm not sure I could have switched gears that quickly.
That's the point though, isn't it. When we are busy and have a lot of demands it can be difficult to prioritise. We often end up attending to the things and the people that shout the loudest. In my experience Jesus never shouts for my attention which means that he's always in danger of being pushed out by the ever growing task list. The task list is important; it's important that I get on with work, that I get on with things that need doing around the house and that I take care of my family. We can't ignore those demands but somehow, amongst it all we need to take time to "choose the better part".
When I did first aid training a few years ago we were taught to prioritise a major incident. Basically, the rule of thumb is not to go straight to the people who are screaming but to go to the one who is making no noise. The reason being that they are likely to be in greater need of help.
Perhaps the lesson in all of this is to plan in a bit of time with the one who never shouts and screams for our attention and then plan all of the other things around that. Inevitably we won't get everything done and some things will have to wait but perhaps, like Mary, we too will have chosen the better part.