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Unexpectedly identifying with the ever-anxious Martha, Teri Sinnott ponders how to change her focus.

Have you ever come across something that just stops you dead in your tracks? Out of nowhere it knocks you right on your butt. Well, that was me today. I was trying to read my devotionals, while making breakfast, pulling my toddler off the counter, the table, possibly the curtains, all while sipping my cold coffee ... and it happened to me. Right there in the kitchen. Here I was distracted, as usual, and BAM -- right here in the story of Mary and Martha, it hit me. 

I ... am ... Martha. 

Eek. I did not see that one coming. 

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) 

I am Martha. I am too busy, too tired, too worried, too stressed all ... the ... time. I am focusing on the million day-to-day tasks that need done, but neglecting one major priority: My time with God. 

Lately, I had been preoccupied with planning for back-to-school for me and the kids. Trying to find the right masks, reading the latest numbers, the most recent articles by experts that contradict the article that I had just read by the other expert. Reading re-opening plans. Preparing my kids for fall. Add in a bit of bargain shopping, writing more, volunteer/serving opportunities, groups I am involved in and planning social distance birthday parties; I have kept myself pretty occupied.

This list is not all-inclusive either. It lacks my day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished when raising three young children and attempting to keep up with the laundry. Attempting. Yes, there is some social media scrolling in there, but I am not filling my time with tasks that are unholy or sinful, but they are still distracting me from what is most important. 

I can almost hear myself saying the same words that Martha uttered at Jesus.

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40)  

Martha was so focused on being a good hostess. She was busy with the tasks at hand. The tasks that caused her to miss the opportunity to sit at the feet of our Lord and learn. She missed the opportunity to be close to Him. To get to know Him. To build a strong relationship with Him.

Martha wasn’t doing anything wrong or sinful. It wasn’t that she didn’t love Jesus. It wasn’t that she didn’t care to spend this time with Him. Her focus was just not correct and her priorities were out of line. She was missing what was most important. 

I am Martha, and it has caused me to be slacking in my time with God. I have had more days than I would like to admit when I have skipped my Bible reading, I didn’t get to my devotionals and I fell asleep praying. 

I set my alarm to get up before the kids, so I can give God my undivided attention. I really enjoy my one on one time with Him over a warm cup of coffee. But recently, this hasn’t been happening. Instead, I hit the snooze button, once, maybe twice, or until I hear the pitter-patter of little feet down the hall or my toddler knocking and yelling “Mama, where are you?” from her room. 

I am Martha. I am missing the most important part. I am exhausted. I am anxious. I am not spending the time with God I need to be, and it shows. This is why my mind is racing. This is why I am caught up in everything going on in the world right now. This is why I am letting fear creep in, instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening. 

I have lost my focus on spending the time with God. Most of what I am filling my time with can be considered God honoring, but ultimately I am missing what truly matters.


I am Martha. I am missing the most important part. #catholicmom

I am Martha. I need to get back to being Mary. I see that more now than ever. It is time to change my focus. I need to re-prioritize, starting today. Today, I will make a plan. Today, I will pray. And tomorrow, with my eyes focused on God, I will enjoy our one-on-one time, over a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise. 

Copyright 2020 Teri Sinnott
Image: Pexels (2020)