I can get so caught up in a reading a fiction book that someone can literally be in the room and say something and I will not hear them. It’s true. Thomas has called me out on it. It’s as if my entire self sinks into the storyline and no longer am I sitting in my bedroom, I’m pulled into the world of the book. And while I find myself laughably being able to ignore distractions around me, I wonder if what I’m so absorbed in is in and of itself one big distraction.
I love reading. And it’s not that reading is a bad habit. It’s not! No! But I love reading so much that I can shut the people in my life out and push away the God of my life, so that I can wrap myself up in a story. When I turn what should be of utmost importance to me, loving God and people, into mere distractions I’ve created an idol. It’s similar to what Martha does in the account in Luke 10:38-42:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “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.”
Martha made her god hospitality. And instead of loving her Lord who was quite literally in the room and giving her sister grace, she made a demand of Jesus and accused her sister. She turned her important things into distractions too, just as I do when I get absorbed in a book. We let the idol rule our actions, and while I pushed people and God away, Martha pushed people and God to get what she wanted.
“…but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What has Mary chosen? What is the one thing? Mary chose to sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to His words. She chose to be near Jesus. Jesus is all that is needed. For Mary. For Martha. For me. For you.
Are we choosing what is better? Am I doing what’s needed?
When today could you sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to his words? Because He is the only thing you really need today, not netflix or a book or a new top or a good grade. Only Him. So join me in re-shuffling our priorities and declare with me that Jesus is Lord.
Let’s focus our whole attention on Him today.