March 15, 2012
I am a carb lover. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat, too. But give me anything made out of dough and I am in heaven … cake, pasta, perogies, homemade bread, rolls, doughnuts, piecrust, and especially raw cookie dough.
We ate once at one of those Brazilian restaurants where they carve the meat straight off the skewer and it flops right onto your plate. All you can eat … and I loved it. But before they begin parading the meat out, they send you to the salad bar, which is filled with all kinds of breads, pasta salads, seafood salads. It’s an awesome spread, but it’s really just a distraction from the main attraction. I had to stop and focus myself … what was I really there for? The incredible MEAT … so I needed to tell myself to focus and resist the distractions.
In Luke 10:38-42, the Bible describes a woman who gave into distractions. Jesus was visiting the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha wanted to be a good hostess, and there’s nothing wrong with that. She was working herself into a frenzy in the kitchen while Mary remained at Jesus’ feet, absorbed in His teaching. When Martha complained to Jesus that her sister wasn’t helping her, His response really took Martha by surprise. Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the essential activity … time at the feet of Jesus.
Martha was doing good things, but she became so engrossed with these appetizers and cheap fillers, that she neglected what was most important, the main course. Then she got stressed and whiney because someone else was eating the ultimate, rich main course: quality time and learning with Jesus while she was at the kiddie or appetizer table. She didn’t look at the whole picture before she made her decision. Don’t we all make knee-jerk decisions like that sometimes?
You see, Satan is going to put forth many empty, unhealthy, worldly appetizers in front of you. He will wine and dine you into thinking his scraps are the whole meal, the only thing needed to get by. He doesn’t even want you to see the real life-giving meal of the “Daily Bread” of God’s Word, and the “Lamb of God” that God is trying to put in front of us on a daily basis.
We are all so busy doing stuff, some of it good and some bad. Are your time and attention so focused on the appetizers that you neglect spending time with Jesus? Do you eat some appetizers with the intention of getting to the main course of God and Jesus, but then find you are too stuffed to take in the spiritual nourishment you really crave and desperately need each day? God is not to be put in a doggie bag and taken home as a leftover to be re-heated when convenient. Don’t let anything interfere with your regular time with God and Jesus … in His Word, in prayer, and in worship.
Today, examine your schedule and priorities. Choose God’s life-giving main course and don’t get distracted with the appetizers or the desserts. Fill up on the real nourishment that is meant to sustain you now and forever. Are you motivated by your relationship with God and making time for it? If not, you are filling up on scraps and your joy and peace will reflect just that. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know that I tend to be like Martha. I get so caught up in my “to-do list” that I sometimes neglect spending time with You. Help me to refocus … to choose the main course. Give me discernment regarding the imitations that so closely mimic the real thing, but just lead me astray. Help me build and tune my spiritual radar to Your frequency so I understand how sustaining and valuable Your nourishment is to me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who you sent to nourish me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it-it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her. Luke 10:42