During this time of year I have an evening chore that involves walking around the house turning on lamps. Every room in our house contains a small corner lamp so nobody ever walks into a completely dark room. I also turn on the porch light, the garage lights, and a small spotlight illuminating our fall display.
When my husband and boys come home just as its getting dark, I want our home to be one giant hug when they walk in the door.
I love doing this simple task as it provides me with a few stolen moments of peace and quiet. But the other night, as I was walking from room to room turning on lamps, I was reminded that I was so busy being like Martha that I had forgotten that Jesus wants me to also be like Mary.
As a mother and wife, and as a woman, nurturing and caring for my family comes naturally. I completely understand Martha and her hospitality and her need to care for others.
But I also understand that, like Mary, I need to know when to let everything go and simply sit at the feet of Jesus -- listening to Him, learning from Him, surrendering to Him.
"To Keep a lamp burning," says Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "we have to keep putting oil in it."
So, while my evening ritual is something Martha would do, it now also serves as a gentle reminder to do something Mary would do, for without spiritual nourishment I can't fully give of myself.
No, I can't give what I don't have, but God offers exactly what I need . . . all I have to do is ask Him.
And it is when I take the time to be like Mary, that the Martha within me truly shines.
*reposted from October 2008