Caught Up in the Urgent

“But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”  —  Luke 10:40

Martha was a perfectionist. You know the type. They agonize over details. They write long to-do lists every day. They bustle about trying to make sure that everything is just so. They are fanatical about order. They detest mess. They compulsively plan and prepare. They are obsessed with not letting things slip through the cracks. People like Martha find it hard to relax–even on vacation. Their sense of worth is tied to what they do or how much they accomplish.

When Jesus came to visit, Martha’s stress level shot through the roof. She wanted everything to be just so. But her priorities were clearly out of whack. The Lord of the universe was out in her living room, and she was back in the kitchen frantically concerned about cooking a good meal!

Jesus gently reminded Martha of this important truth: It is more important to spend time with God than to do things for Him. God wants us more than He wants our busy activity.

Perhaps you suffer from “the Martha syndrome.” You get so caught up in your service that you seldom spend time with the Savior. What steps can you and I take to ensure that we don’t miss the Lord because of our labor? May I suggest a few practical steps we can take to avoid being caught up in the urgent?

Simplify! Paul, in warning the Corinthian church, wrote, “But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Don’t  complicate your life by looking elsewhere. Keep your eyes and heart on Christ!

Be Still! Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world!” Many times motion leads to distraction. Take time to be still and focus your life on Christ!

Surrender! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Give in and give up or you will give out and have nothing to give!

Seek Him! Psalm 42:1-2 says, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him?” Allow your passion for labor to become passion for the Lord!

We should make it our goal this week to take some time each day to sit quietly in the presence of God. As we let God speak to us from His Word, we will see more clearly the things in life that matter most. Let’s not let the urgent things in this life crowd out the things that are most important.


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