And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Simplifying our lives does not really seem like a holy act or a spiritual goal, does it? Sure, it may be a very healthy approach to have. We may see deep quotes on Pinterest about simplifying. We may even see articles by psychologists and life coaches about simplifying. But there isn’t a commandment that states, “Thou shalt simplify!” So why include this theme in a sermon series and a group of devotions intended to help us grow spiritually? We will find part of the answer in an encounter Jesus had with two sisters from a family he hung out with from time to time: Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” [Luke 10:38-42]. Jesus may not have told Martha to “simplify,” but being “troubled about many things” does not seem to connote simplification. “Troubled about many things” brings to mind layers, complexities, and crowded thoughts. Martha, scurrying around the kitchen with a million things on her mind, resented the fact that her sister was just sitting at Jesus feet - hanging on every word He had to say. Mary’s focus was singular at that moment - not scattered. She wasn’t trying to do ten things at once; she had simplified. She was doing one thing - interacting with Jesus. Jesus said Mary chose the thing that was “needed - the good part - which will not be taken away” - the eternal part! Simplifying our lives may not be a great spiritual event in itself, but not simplifying our lives will keep us from great spiritual encounters!
Pray Psalm 27:4-5; 14:
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life.
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavillion,
In the secret place of His tabernacle.
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!