Distraction of Delectable Dishes #devotion

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Luke 10:42
But the Lord said to her, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her!”

It’s the holiday time and it feels like my to-do list doubles. The squares on my calendar do not have enough room for all the activities and demands of the season. I treasure spending time with friends and family but find that much of my time is focused on the tasks associated with the holiday, especially making all those delicious, culinary dishes of the season. In the days of Pinterest, Food Network and Rachel Ray, the desire is to create delectable delights that will receive accolades for appearance and taste. This takes time to search for the perfect recipe, shop, prepare and then plate it so it looks like the picture. I don’t have the luxury to put in that amount of time, but inside I tend to hold myself to that higher level of perfection. Multiply this stress expectation if I am hosting the event. Sometimes I become so focused on the preparations of the event and I do not realize, until it is over, that I spent my time in the kitchen instead of spending time with my guests.

I wonder if this is how Martha felt when she had Jesus over. She was so excited to have Jesus and the disciples to dinner that she desired everything to be perfect for Him. This stressed her out and distracted her from actually welcoming Jesus. She sacrificed time with Him because she was consumed with all the preparations of the delectable dishes she was serving.

Remember what happened? Luke 10 38b-42 (The Living Bible)
Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister Mary sat on the floor, listening to Jesus as he talked. But Martha was the jittery type and was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Sir, 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, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her!”

What if Martha dropped everything in the kitchen for a moment and went out of the kitchen to spend time with Christ? Does that frame this story in a different way? You see, I do not think that Christ was saying to Martha that the things she was doing were unimportant. He was trying to tell her that they did not need to be the priority at the time. Christ wanted her to know that time with Him was more important than serving perfect, delectable dishes. Christ was trying to remind Martha that He recognized Mary was making her time with Him a priority and He wanted Martha to do the same.

Could it be that many of us are striving so hard to execute the perfect event, the perfect delectable dish, the perfect ______________, that we forget the spirit of the moment and, even more importantly, the relationships? Sometimes stealing a moment of peace to pray, be still or even to visit with others can feel indulgent, but this is what Jesus wants us to do.

Remember the first two commandments: Matthew 22:37-40 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself “

Notice that this verse does not say , “Love God by serving Him the finest dishes” or “Love others by setting a perfect table, with dishes that rival the latest Martha Stewart decorations”. No, the verse says to love God and others. Love them and be in relationship with them. Take time.

So this holiday season, I am not going to feel guilty if my table does not look perfect or my dishes do not look like the pictures online. I may even use paper plates and utilize the conveniences of mixes and store bought baked goods. Removing my focus from the perfection of appearances and the expectation of perfection hopefully will allow me to savor my time with loved ones, and even more importantly, to indulgently sit at the feet of Jesus. In the midst of the holiday havoc, He offers peace, reassurance, wisdom, refreshment and strength.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I can hear your voice calling to me, “ Dear daughter (put your name in here), you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it.” Help me carve out that time to sit at your feet and savor the time we have together. For it is these moments that you renew and refresh me, giving me the insight and wisdom to prioritize the demands of the day. Thank you Lord! Amen

2 Comments

  1. turnerfamiliaDee on November 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Well written my dear friend. So true for most of us. I feel the same way but this year I am trying to be mindful and keep the Christ in Christmas first.

  2. Leslie K Selby on December 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for reminder. It was much needed.

    _____

    From: Devotions for the Distracted Heart [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Friday, November 28, 2014 11:45 PM To: lkselby@iem-inc.com Subject: [New post] Distraction of Delectable Dishes #devotion

    pegarnold posted: ” Luke 10:42 But the Lord said to her, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it-and I won’t take it away from her!” It’s the holiday time and “

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