Galatians 1:13-24; Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15;Luke 10:38-4
Mary has chosen the better part. (Luke 10:42)
Reading this passage, we may think Mary chose not only the better part but the easier part. There she is, sitting at the feet of Jesus, while Martha does all the work. This image could lead us to see Mary as a dreamy-eyed mystic. But was her choice of “the better part” really easier? Maybe not.
First of all, Mary probably knew that her sister wouldn’t appreciate her absence in the kitchen. Second, she likely knew from experience that getting close to Jesus had its encouraging side and its not-so-encouraging side—especially if Jesus was pointing out areas in her life that needed to be changed.
Even if it can be challenging at times, prayer is still a great privilege because it draws us closer to Jesus. We all know how wonderful it is when Jesus speaks words of encouragement. But sometimes we learn more about ourselves when God puts his finger on something in us that we’re not too proud of. Surely this happened with Peter when he told the Lord he didn’t have to die (Matthew 16:21-23), with James and John when they wanted to see some Samaritans suffer (Luke 9:51-55), and with all the disciples when they were caught on a stormy sea (Matthew 14:23-32). Each time, Jesus’ words helped them to grow in holiness.
By staying close to Jesus and working through the conflicts that arise within us, we, like the disciples, can become more open to God’s love and grace. When we embrace Jesus’ invitation to sit with him, even when listening leads us outside of our comfort zones, we make progress in living as his brothers and sisters and embracing our identity as his children.
So be as open as you can with Jesus when you come to him in prayer. Always know that whether a word of encouragement or a word of rebuke comes to you during your prayer, it is spoken in love.
Try to make time to be with Jesus every day. Sit at his feet as often as you can. Try to sense what he says to you. As Mary would surely tell you, it’s well worth it!
“Jesus, help me to sit at your feet today. As I open my heart to you, help me say yes to all that you ask. Lord, I want to receive the joy that comes from following you alone!”~WAU