Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marcel And Martha .... And Me

My devotional tonight is about distractions and a commercial I really like. Sometimes Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus, gets a bad rap. I still think she was awesome. This is from June 12, 2011.
I don't know if you've seen the above commercial link but it's worth 31 seconds to watch. If you spend any time in front of the television, you might have seen it repeatedly ....and you might join with many others in finding it extremely annoying. (I kind of like it- the weather lady is very cute!) This AT+T-Uverse spot simply mimics our world- the constant demanding of our attention as consumers. It's difficult to focus with so many distractions that seem attractive in their glitzy packaging. I'm not sure how they decided on the name Marcel but it's effective enough to stick with me and I'm not the only one. I'm amazed when talking to little kids at camp at what is planned for them this summer. They don't know- the parents have the master schedule- but many of them will be on the go until school cranks up again in August. Don't get me wrong. The activities the little ones are going to be involved with are wholesome and fun and often educational....and non-stop. I would have a hard time sitting still in elementary school if I had been in the position to constantly sort the bombardment of stimuli these kids face now. Thanks to technology, there is just so much going on and the world is spinning at a breakneck pace. We have a generation of little Marcels at our doorsteps.

You know, I feel Marcel and I have a brotherhood. I'm having the hardest time getting anything done in my life. That's not quite right. What I mean to say is that at the end of the day, I still have so much to do. The demands on my attention are, by and large, good things but we all know the too much of a good thing analogy. I used to read the Bible through several times in a year but I don't anymore because I'm writing devotionals which I hope are positive to some folks. What's good or what's better? That's the Martha and Mary dilemma from Luke 10. Jesus and his men come for dinner but only one sister was in the kitchen. Mary was listening at the feet of the Savior.

 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

We can sympathize with Martha being distracted and many of us have siblings that aren't always helpful. (Not me, of course.) Notice that Jesus did not say that what Martha was doing was wrong- hospitality is always scripturally praised- but that Mary's choice was better. Some options are more beneficial for us and for those we love and for those we serve and ultimately for the Kingdom. We have to, with wisdom and guidance from the Lord, prioritize those demands on our time in every avenue of our lives. Which inevitably brings us back to Marcel. I say go with the weather channel, Marcel; that meteorologist lady is sweet!

Applicable quote of the day:
"One of the points about distractions is that everything that they do is destabilizing."
Bruce Sterling

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Cayla and Ryan said...

Steve I enjoy reading your devotionals so very much. Now about Mary and Martha....Someone has to cook or there will be no meal. Yes I understand about putting first things first and in order of importance. Maybe the answer would be to hire a cook and server so that everyone could sit and listen..or maybe if Mary would help for a little while both would have a chance to sit and listen to the Lord. Just saying..
Thank you for the dollars that you sent for a refund. I am enjoying reading the book. Not finished quite yet.

Sherry said...

One of the things I often find myself repeating around my house is, "I do not talk just to hear my own voice! Is anyone listening to me?" Must be a mom thing. Sometimes I wonder if Martha simply needed a listening ear. Like her, I have to remind myself that the Lord never left me and that he hears everything I say. I'll bet Martha wouldn't be so overwhelmed and distracted if the people she spent so much time taking care of noticed her efforts a bit more. Then again, if she spent as much time seeking God as she did trying to be heard, she would probably find all the affirmation she needed. So much food for thought!