Sunday, August 28, 2016

Focus on the Better Choice

UV 2053/10000 Focus on the Better Choice
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Luke 10 v 42

Martha was distracted by many worries of running the household while Mary chose to focus on Jesus and the joy of listening to His voice and understanding His words. She had chosen in the eyes of Jesus, the “better part.” Further, Jesus asserted that the thing she had chosen would never be taken from her – the agape love of God. We taking the example of Mary ought not to be distracted by worry or attracted to many things of this life and this world. Rather, we should consistently choose the better part. Ultimately, life is a choice between whether we spend our time and resources on a particular thing or its better alternative. Let us consistently focus on Jesus and choose the better alternative. In order to do so consistently without messing up in every decision we take, we ought to first listen intently like Mary did to the words of Jesus, the voice of the Holy Spirit who resides in us who believe in Jesus. Jesus was actually understating things: it was the best thing Mary could do in the whole universe. She never let go of this unique opportunity to be blessed in the presence of the Lord. It gave her more security, pleasure, satisfaction, power and grace than money, comforts, food and drink, entertainment, friendship, kinship or achievement.

Only one thing, Jesus said, is needed to be joyful in this life and that is listening to the voice of the Lord and abiding in and by His words. The enemy of our souls may try to distract us, seduce us, deceive us, throw us off track but the Spirit of the Lord will prompt us, guide us, lead us, counsel us, enable us to focus on what is good, noble, praiseworthy, beautiful, wholesome, perfect. Mary enjoyed the time she spent at the feet of Jesus like nothing else she did all her life. She was so unlike Martha who was weighed down by her responsibilities and chores. Martha wanted to please the Master Jesus by cooking his food while Mary found her pleasure in spending time with Him. It is not however a cue to us to become carefree or irresponsible but to give priority to the things of the Lord. Mary was literally feasting on the teachings of Jesus. It gave her joy, strength, wisdom beyond anything else she had heard or done all her life.

We need to treasure our times with the Lord above all other mundane necessities. Our spirits should consider His words more than our necessary food. Our bodies and minds have many needs and face many challenges in fulfilling these but our heart can only be satisfied by being filled with the love for Jesus and the love of Jesus. Once we do this we are indeed seeking His kingdom in us and seeking to be and do His righteousness in our lives. The Lord promises to add whatever we need for our bodies and minds. Jesus did not interfere with the choices that both Martha and Mary made. He respected those choices but He clearly held up the choice of Mary as the exemplary one. We are always presented a choice between two priorities, two ways to spend our time, two ways to devote our attention and focus our energy. Let us consistently choose the better one with the guidance and enablement of Jesus.

Prateep V Philip

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