When you have three good paths you can walk, how do you choose the best one? Has anyone else ever been there? I seem to end up at an intersection of competing opportunities every other day, and being the perfectionistic people pleaser I am, I always try to do everything for everybody.
But you can’t do that forever. You can’t always say yes. I mean, you can, but sooner or later, you’re going to crash and burn. Because you’re not superhuman. You have to sleep and eat and take care of your health at some point, whether you believe it or not.
Today’s verses are Luke 10:38-42.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This is a familiar story. Most everyone probably knows it, and it’s probably been used in more Sunday school lessons and sermons than anyone can count. I know I’ve heard this story all my life.
So why do I keep trying to make decisions like Martha?
Martha’s heart was in the right place. She wanted to use her gifts to serve Jesus, but she was trying to do too much. She weighed herself down with too much responsibility, and then when she saw her sister sitting and listening, doing one thing (no matter how important it was), I’m sure she got irritated.
I would have been. But Mary had the right idea. She had the opportunity to do one thing–listen. And I think we all usually end up in that same place. We have the chance to do many things or we have the chance to do one thing, and if you’re the sort of person who can manage lots of multitasking, you won’t want to stop with one thing.
And it’s not bad to multitask. If you’re a “ten-talent” servant, make the most of what you have. Use your gifts and your abilities for God, and He’ll multiply them exponentially. But remember even the ten-talent servant started out with five talents. It was God who doubled them. He didn’t take ten and try to make good on the investment on his own.
What has God called you to do? Do you know? Some people know specifically. Other people have a sort of vague understanding. But whatever it is God has called you to do, just do it. And just do it alone.
Don’t do anything else. Don’t try to add to it. Don’t try to supplement it. Don’t try to enhance it.
God has created you for a specific task, and maybe you’re one of those people who can handle multiple tasks, but I’m willing to bet they’re probably all related to each other in some way.
Everything I’m good at has to do with words. Everything God has gifted me in has to do with words and communicating. When I try to do anything other than that, I can do it, and I can do it well, but it’s difficult for me. It’s not my gift. And most of the time whenever I agree to do something outside my gift, it’s to please other people.
Not always, of course. When I have the time and I can help set up chairs or work outside and pick people up and drop people off, I’m so glad to do it. But when it comes to efficiently managing the time that God has given me, saying yes to tutoring someone in math would be a horrible idea, no matter how much I want to make them happy.
Get serious with God. Get close to Him. Get to know Him. And the more you get to know Him, the better understanding you’ll have of what He wants for your life.
Ask Him, and keep your options open. Be willing to do what He asks you to do, and you never know where you might end up.