I’d like to say that I struggle with the Mary and the Martha in myself. But I’m afraid I’m more of the third and heretofore little known sister, Monica.
You see, Martha was running around the house when Jesus visited. Making crab cakes, refilling the punch bowl, keeping the chip dip full. It’s a little-known fact that she is the great, great, great grandmother of Martha Stewart. It’s true.
So Martha is being the perfect hostess. In the perfect house. Just as she’s hand-grinding Columbian coffee beans to make the after dinner espresso she looks up and notices her sister, Mary.
Mary is sitting on a beanbag yacking it up with the Lord. She didn’t set out the good coffee cups like Martha asked. She didn’t even get her roots touched up for Jesus’ visit. She’s just hanging out soaking it in as though the creme brulee is going to caramelize itself.
And then there’s Monica. Monica is in her bedroom watching Mr. Ed reruns. I’m Monica.
I don’t keep a perfect house. I don’t even really keep an acceptable house. At any given moment there is some staple grocery item that everyone should have in their pantry that I am missing. I make dinner on a hit or miss basis, more often it’s a miss. Sometimes I make dinner and then refuse to eat it. Sometimes I forget to turn the crock pot on and come home to semi thawed gross chicken. Sometimes I don’t wash the crockpot out and just throw the whole thing away.
I hate making desserts and anything involving more than two preparation steps is beyond my wildest imaginings.
Well! You say. Well! That’s good! Jesus was happy with Mary because she chose the better things! She chose to sit at Jesus’ feet! Yeah! But, uh, as I mentioned, I’m not really like Mary either.
I don’t sit at Jesus feet all day and that’s why my laundry is creeping vertically back up the laundry chute. I’m not so deep into the Word that I forgot to scrub my kitchen floor. I’m not praying for hours and therefore didn’t make dinner.
I’m Monica. I didn’t do laundry, clean the floor or make dinner because I spent several hours staring into space. I failed to grocery shop because I was distracted by the new Entertainment Weekly that just came in the mail. I didn’t pray and do my devotional because I was at Kohl’s combing through the clearance racks (which are awesome by the way).
I’m Monica. I am neither over productive nor over spiritual.
I wish I was a little more Mary and a lot more Martha. And a little more Martha and a lot more Mary. And a lot less Monica.
I think I’m gonna work on that. On balance I mean. Not on avoiding Kohl’s altogether because that’s just crazy talk. No, it’s ok to have some Monica in there. And I’m not going to become such a Mary that my home continues the downward spiral. I don’t think that’s what the Lord is looking for.
And I think we all know there is little danger of me becoming such a Martha that I do nothing but whittle rocking chairs from saplings and make my own marshmallows. Fat chance.
I’m looking for a total life experience. Of shopping and praying and doing all in one life, lived whole and right. Balance.
So Monica, put down that People Magazine.
And Martha, well, Martha is still missing in action. So let’s try to coax her out of the closet.
And Mary, well, you just keep on going with your spiritual self. But maybe you can learn to soak and suds at the same time?
Luke 10:38 (New International Version)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
(Wondering about Mary and Monica? Read it yourself! Luke 10:38 and beyond...)