Making The Choice: Busyness vs. Stillness

These past few days I’ve been thinking about the well-known story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10. Reading about Martha always strikes a chord within me. I can envision her bustling around her home completely caught up in the many tasks she had to accomplish. She was a woman whose to-do list was her top priority.

Martha was so busy with everything she saw as important and necessary, she sacrificed precious time that could have been spent at the feet of Jesus. 

I can completely relate. A hundred times over, I’ve made the same choice Martha made. I’ve chosen my busyness over spending time with God.

We always think of life-changing decisions as the major stuff – the decisions that play a big part in determining our direction in life. We don’t realize that the decision that faced Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 is also a life-changing decision. It’s a decision you and I face every single day. A decision even more crucial in determining the direction of our lives than the major stuff. The decision between busyness and stillness.

The easy choice.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  Luke 10:40-41

Instead of making time to spend with Jesus, Martha became completely preoccupied with all the things she had to get done. She wanted to spend time with Him, but choosing busyness was so much easier. In my life, I always find this to be true. I want to spend time with God, but it’s easy to allow busyness to take charge of my day and ultimately my life.

One morning last week, after hitting the snooze button several times, I woke up much later than originally planned and had only 45 minutes before I needed to leave the house. I rushed around getting ready and ended up leaving 10 minutes behind schedule.

Because of my late start, I made zero time to spend with God. I just walked out the door, anxious to get on with the busyness of my day. By noon, I was irritated, overwhelmed, and empty – results of the choice I had made earlier that morning.

The better choice.

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.  Luke 10:42

Mary, on the other hand, made a completely different choice than her sister. She made the hard choice. The better choice.

While Mary had just as much to do as Martha, she chose to spend time at the feet of Jesus. Mary realized that more important and necessary than her to-do list was making the time to build her relationship with her God. She chose to push aside all the things that were beckoning to her, and give herself to sit still at His feet. She chose the one thing that was truly needful.

It’s your choice.

Just as Christ called Mary and Martha, He is calling you and me to leave our cares and busyness behind and spend time at His feet. He is calling us to be still and know that He is God.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:10

Yes. Our families, our ministries, our jobs, our responsibilities, our friendships, our schoolwork, our _________ (fill in the blank) all have importance. But we can’t afford to allow these things to take the place of the one thing that is needful.

Though I wish they were, our good intentions are never enough. We have to make the conscious decision to invest in our relationship with God. Make a daily appointment with Him, and never fail to keep it.

Stillness is also the choice of fullness.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Psalm 16:11

Busyness will fill up your life, but your relationship with God will fill you. Your daily decision to either spend time with Him or let your life be consumed by busyness is a decision that slowly, but surely, changes your life. It changes your priorities, your focus, your thinking. It changes you.

Our direction in life is determined, not by huge leaps, but by those little steps we take day by day.

So what choice are you making?

Are you making Martha’s choice – busyness? Or are you choosing the good part like Mary did?

Where are your daily steps taking you?

I want to challenge us to be girls that choose the one thing that is needful.

Let’s choose the good part.

Let’s choose God.


I’d love to hear from you

Are you more of a Mary or a Martha?

What are some things you have learned about choosing between busyness and stillness?

What are some changes you can make this week to make stillness more of a priority in your life?

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