Martha vs. Mary…Round 2

The Martha in me wants everyone, absolutely everyone around me to be happy.  But even for someone who thrives on everyone being happy, settled, rested, full, clean and all around pleased I find it quite often to be the definition of insanity.  Why?  It.isn’t.possible!  Pleasing people is completely and utterly exhausting!  They might tell you exactly what they want you to do for them and they STILL aren’t happy and throw a fit!  And if you think I’m talking about my kids…adults can be much worse in their discontment than children!  You think I would’ve learned this a long time ago in my Real Estate days when I would show a client EXACTLY the house that matched their specific search criteria…in many cases several houses…and yet they couldn’t stand what they thought they wanted.  What I’ve learned is that people are fickle and pleasing them is futile.  So why do I still do it?

A few years back I was…in pure Martha fashion…absolutely killing myself trying to please 2 owners of the company I was working for.  They were both equally my boss yet I couldn’t make them both equally happy at the same time.  Don’t get me wrong…they were both great guys…but rarely ever did they see things eye to eye making it very difficult for the one in the middle…me.  The passage about not being able to serve 2 masters really hit home.  I felt like I was entrenched in perpetual tug of war going back and forth between sides.  They each had different ideas of how the company should be run, how we take the next step, what the next step should even be and just when I thought we were all on the same page someone would either skip ahead or turn back to the last chapter.  I just couldn’t win no matter what I tried to do because I was contantly being forced to choose a team.  I asked my husband in complete exasperation one night why I even cared so much!?  He told me something that changed my outlook…something I will never forget.  “It’s because you’re working as if you’re working for the Lord…because you are!”  That impacted more than just how I viewed my job…but how I viewed everything I do.  God should be in all of it!

If I care so much about what other people think and making them happy…what does that say about how I view my worth?  Where do I find it?  In others…or in the One who made me?  The One Who has a plan for me that was established before the foundation of this world.  Shouldn’t God be first in line?  Ah-ha!  My priorities are upside down again!?  Martha scurrying around making sure all is well…while Mary on the other hand simply sits at her Savior’s feet.  Isn’t it true that if I make Him happy…everything else will just fall into place?  If pleasing people is futile because they are fickle…shouldn’t I be focusing on pleasing the One who never changes?  The One whose love for me never wavers no matter what I do or don’t do!

That’s the thing that’s tough for someone like me.  If I try to find my worth in what others think of me based on what I do as a natural do-er it’s really hard to accept grace.  I didn’t earn it.  I did nothing for it.  He loves me unconditionally no matter what.  I just have to receive it.  It makes me think that there are reason for those todays…like today…when all I can physically bear to do is get out of bed and practically shuffle through the motions of my life feeling nearly spiritually and emotionally disengaged because all I can seem to muster up the strength to do is put one foot in-front-of the other and receive His gifts…yet He still lavishes them upon me.  He gives me exactly what I need the moment I need it.  When I’m not sure I can get going…a soft prayer and a kiss given to me by my husband before I take even a single step.  When I don’t know how I can make it through the day…a giant, full buttermilk moon lighting up the dark morning sky.  When I am tempted to focus on the difficult…God’s Word, a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.  When I begin to forget all that He has done for me…story after story after story after story of His faithfulness from those around  me.  You can bet all of those things are on my list!  It’s grace…all is grace…and I deserve none of it…though I must receive it to live fully.

I am still…still struggling to be more like Mary.  I wish I could just say “So long Martha!  So long people pleaser!”  But I know it is something I will continue to wrestle with.  Keeping Christ first is the key and while round 1 may be against my own agenda and striving to be still…round 2 is everyone else’s.  Though obedience doesn’t always make a lot of sense to others..that isn’t what counts.  The Lord wants me to love others…be His hands and feet…to “do” and live out my faith and do what He asks of me…though not in my own strength.   So before I say I will do something…before I make plans…before I take a single step in any direction…I need to first seek the Lord and what He thinks because His opinion of what I do…of me…is the only one that really matters.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Colossians 3:23-24

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