“Only one thing is important.” Luke 10:42a (NCV)
Have you struggled with focus in the immediate crises we are facing in our world? A pandemic that has shut down our lives, our economy and many of our relationships, compounded with social injustice, racial inequality, and unimaginable rioting in major cities. It’s easy to lose sight of what is most important in life when our world seems out of control. Jesus said there was only one thing needful, only one thing is important, but very few of us operate our lives like that’s true. We find ourselves preoccupied with life’s demands. The tyranny of the urgent robs us of the one thing that is most important. What is that one thing that is so important and needful? Mary shows us in a story of her encounter with Jesus in Luke 10:38-42. It’s a common story descriptive of our own lives. Two sisters, Mary and Martha and their brother, Lazarus, friends of Jesus, are offering hospitality to their friend in His ministry as they host Jesus in their home. Luke tells us that Mary is “sitting at Jesus feet and listening to Him teach.” in verse 39.
Imagine that moment Mary was enjoying with Jesus. She is soaking in His presence and His words. She listened attentively and was the only one who seemed to have insight into His death. She would later anoint Him with expensive perfume that Jesus said she did in preparation of His burial in John 12:7. That kind of spiritual insight comes when we do the one thing that is important, when we sit at our Savior’s feet and listen.
The one thing that is important in our lives is the presence of God. It’s the one thing that is needful. We need God. God designed us that way, and we are dysfunctional without Him. Have you found yourself, like Mary’s sister, Martha, so busy with life’s demands that you are running on empty? Your so distracted by everything that is happening around that you are missing the joy of the One in front of You, within you. Maybe you’re just too busy. Stop! Don’t miss the presence of God in your zeal to serve Him. Hear the loving rebuke Jesus gave to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NCV)
Today, do the one thing that is important. Put everything on a pause for a few moments. Be still. Sit and listen as you spend time with God in the pages of His Word. Then, like Mary, act on the spiritual insight you gain in His presence.