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  • Writer's pictureShannon Bryant

The Good Part

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

My dad and his lovely wife just celebrated their 37th year wedding anniversary. In honor of them, my husband and I invited them over for an anniversary dinner celebration. It was going to be unseasonably warm that day so we planned an outside barbecue on the deck. After having close to twelve inches of snow just a few weeks before we were super excited to be able to be outside in the sun and fresh air.

My husband was looking forward to uncovering the grill and doing what he enjoys (and does so very well by the way). I prepared a few side dishes and even whipped up a cake. During our time of preparation, my husband said to me, “Be sure to be more like Mary and less like Martha today. My husband knows me so well. I think he began to notice me going into the overly busy frenzy mode. You know, making sure everything is just right. The food, the house, the glasses, dinner plates, etc. You get the idea. My kids describe it as, “doing the most”. I admit, much like Martha, I tend to get distracted with much serving. So much so that in my efforts of being hospitable to the ones I love, I forfeit the special moments with the ones I love. I miss the good part.

During the anniversary dinner, I was super busy making sure everyone was comfortable and had everything they needed. I served everyone, refreshed beverages, all the while cleaning, dishwashing, etc. while everyone else was enjoying the much-needed fellowship of one another. While in the kitchen, through the clattering of pots and dishes, I could hear laughter, music, and even singing coming from outside. In my mind, I kept thinking as soon as I'm done I'll get to join in on the fun. Unfortunately, I continued to be preoccupied with "doing" instead of taking time to sit, be still, have some fun and soak in these precious moments with family; the good part.

One particular good part was my dad crooning during karaoke singing some of his favorite oldies. I could hear him as he sang his heart out as if he was going back in time. These songs were meaningful to him and he wanted me to share this experience with him. I could hear him call for me from the kitchen, “Shannon I have a song for you.” Needless to say, I never got around to singing the song. With so much to do, I didn’t have time. Or should I say, I didn’t make time. Like Martha, I didn’t choose what was better.

Reflecting back I am saddened that I didn’t choose the good part; meaningful time with my father. Making precious memories of song, conversation, and laughter. When it’s all said and done, who really cares about the details of the dinner right?

Later on in the evening I finally settled down and in my winding down and quieting myself I was reminded of the words my husband had spoken to me earlier in the day, “Be sure to be more like Mary and less like Martha.” Well, that was a major failure, but it was in the sitting, stillness, and quieting that his words were brought back to me. Much like with our heavenly Father, it’s in the stillness, quietness, sitting at His feet that we hear Him and He brings His words to our remembrance. It’s in the stillness that we are truly attentive, attuned, present.

In my busyness, I neglected time with my earthly father. That moment in time I will never get back but I will be adamant in the future to not take his presence for granted. I’ll take time to talk. Listen. Laugh out loud. Sing the song. Be fully present. Sure, I was there but I was not actively in fellowship, communication, listening, or having meaningful interaction. Similarly, it can be the same with our relationship with God. We know He’s there but are we fully present? Do we really have a deep awareness of His presence? Does He have our unbroken communion? Do we have meaningful conversations with Him even throughout the day? When He calls for us to spend time with Him are we too busy and unbalanced in serving? Or are we so burdened by the cares and distractions of life that we forfeit the blessing of sitting at His feet, listening intently, abiding, worshipping, blessing, praising, gazing at His beauty. Do we make time to sing the song?

There are so many things these days to clamor at our attention. We must be purposeful to not only treasure all those we love and hold dear but to be ever so intentional to chose the One who holds us near. Who is with us always. Who died for us. The Risen King. Blessed Savior! Righteous Redeemer! The good part. Jesus. The part that will never be taken away.

Let us pray:

Lord help us to live in a deeper awareness of You. May we experience constant companionship with You. Forgive us for being casual in our walk with You and for being so busy with life that we take Your presence for granted. For where shall we go from Your Spirit? Or where shall we flee from Your presence?

Distractions are a constant struggle. Help us to stay focused. Settle down. Listen. Learn from You. Rest in Your embrace. Worship in Your splendor. Cling to Your every word.

Only what we do for You will last. May Your glory be our aim and Your presence be our home. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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