Let’s see if this conversation sounds familiar.
“Hey, how are you?”
*Nervous laugh* “So busy. I’m dying.” *Second nervous laugh*
“Oh my gosh, same.”
“Okay, I have to go start a 10-page paper that’s due at midnight!”
It hurts because it’s real. We’re reaching that point in the semester where papers, tests and procrastinated assignments converge with growing emotional and mental fatigue. Then we think we learn a good lesson about overcommitting only to do it again the next semester. We’ve all been there.
In this season, I am reminded of Luke 10:38–42. As he is traveling, Jesus visits the home of Martha. Martha busies herself preparing to host Jesus and his disciples while her sister, Mary, places herself at Jesus’ feet, listening to his precious words. Martha, irked with her sister, commands Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus politely refuses and challenges Martha’s thinking by telling her that Mary has chosen what is better.
Jumping over the beautiful way that Jesus uplifts the place of women in his society (go check it out in a commentary), I want us to ask the classic question: are we Marys or Marthas? Based on the generic conversation that started this column, it’s probably clear that I think we are mostly Marthas.
So often in the rush to be the hands and feet of Jesus we forget to sit at his feet. We prioritize homework, practice, wing life, clubs and campus events over our quiet communion with God. It’s such an easy trap to fall into because the things that we do are good things. They are Kingdom work. But we have to remember to take time to do what is even better — to sit at the feet of Jesus.
What does that mean? Unlike Mary, we do not have the privilege of sitting at Jesus’ physical feet, but we are privileged in that we can have communion with the Holy Spirit, which Jesus says is even better than having himself among us, according to John 16:7.
As Spirit-filled believers, let us lean into relationship with the Spirit through prayer, Scripture engagement, silence, meditation, praise, thanksgiving and all the many, many disciplines we have available to us. Let us choose what is better.