There are moments of my life when I choose to neglect chores and running errands and such things; the world has taught me to call this laziness. I believed that for so long and fought the exhaustion and the desire to do something fun and ‘unfruitful’ because I didn’t want to think of myself as lazy. I wanted to be responsible and force myself through the drudge of dishes, laundry, cleaning, organizing, planning, etc. A little voice changed that one day (actually it took a few instances) when I heard the words, “Play with me, Mama.”
I couldn’t resist the innocence in those dark eyes hiding behind too-long blond locks. My 5-year-old son just wanted some attention from the most important person in his world: me. I dropped chores from my mind to race cars, play hockey, or build with legos. It didn’t matter. Dishes could wait for bedtime. Laundry could happen in sections. I was so busy being Martha that I forgot what Mary had found: Jesus. In the moments my son or daughter were looking for my attention, they just wanted my love, approval, acceptance, and time. They are filled with joy, no matter the activity, when my husband or I choose to be with them in their games, on their time, in their world.
Don’t we pray to God in the hopes of the same attention and love and support? Would He answer me and give me His attention if I can’t even take the time to play with my children? In my whirlwind of life roles, I had become so ‘busy’ that I forgot the most important role of all: motherhood. My husband, who’s working full time and going to college full time, manages to know the kids better than I do. What excuse do I have, really?
The ‘world’ would call me lazy with one look at our patchwork kitchen, messy table, and (quite frankly) filthy floors and counters. It’s something I pick at when my little ones aren’t needing my direct attention. I certainly force them to play alone at times, or to do things without help - they need to learn, but I pay more attention to those encounters which induce quality time. If I’m too busy with ‘things’ I could miss something more important. Maybe I’m being Jesus to them by giving them my time, attention, and love. Maybe they’re being Jesus to me by pulling me away from the world and simplifying my joy, filling my heart.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
So go ahead and neglect the lesser things in life at times, so long as the ‘good portion’ is waiting for you somewhere else. Don’t let the business of the world keep you from encounters with the One who created it. It took me a while to learn to say no to new opportunities, but I know now when my plate it full, and these days I fill it with better things.