Doing and Being
I learned from an early age to be a doer. I had excellent examples in both of my parents and many others around me. I was steeped in the work ethic of my northern European ancestors. However, early in my young adult years I began to hear about and value the importance of being quiet and listening for God’s voice and direction – a significant learning in my journey.
Today we have two familiar stories – the three visitors to Abraham and Sarah in the wilderness and the visit of Jesus to Martha and Mary. In one, Abraham sees the three approach his tent and hastens to welcome and then he and Sarah quickly go about the busy-ness of preparing and creating a meal for them. In the other, Jesus is greeted by Martha, who also goes about busying herself with preparations of hospitality, while her sister sits at Jesus’ feet to listen.
Our lives are full, are calendars are full; but Jesus calls us to something different. What is that? Surely he is not asking us to be inhospitable or to not do our daily tasks and duties. Yes, some of us may need to find ways to open space in our lives for God to enter in. This is important so that we are refreshed and renewed to do all of those things in our lives. But just maybe Jesus is asking us to look for another way to be in our doing.
How might we lessen the worry and distraction from the endless lists and tasks in our everyday life? What does Jesus mean when he says, “there is need of only one thing, Mary has chosen the better part, …” Sometimes art can help us to see differently. I invite you to take in the image being used this week, and pray with that image and these words.
Sue von Rautenkranz