In this week’s lesson we learn of Martha and her sister Mary. Martha received Jesus as a guest into her home. Anyone knows that guests and family life offer much to be “cumbered about.” Martha’s sister Mary though was seemingly unaware of all that needed done and sat listening at Jesus’ feet. When Martha expressed her frustration, Jesus acknowledged Martha’s careful effort but offered this advice,
“One thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part.”
Does His instruction mean it didn’t matter if everyone got fed? Probably not. Was He telling her, “Calm down, take a little time for you?” Again, probably not. Whatever has us worried and wringing our hands, it doesn’t seem the Lord’s way to be dismissive.
Needful. Choose. Part.
But His instruction to Martha was simple. She had a lot on her mind, so the clarity of direct counsel seems fitting to the moment.
We can all likely relate. Some thoughts to consider for such times:
Needful: How does this activity, this moment, this task lead us, leads me, to Christ?
“We no longer have the luxury of spending our energy on anything that does not lead us and our families to Christ.” (Sheri L Dew)
Choose: Don’t I always have a choice?
“Wouldn’t it be easy if we were choosing between [ministering] or robbing a bank? Instead, our choices are often more subtle. We must choose between many worthy options.” (Bonnie D Parkin)
Part: In Christ’s counsel to choose the good part, there’s an implication of a lesser, or negative part. Do we think critically about the part we focus on?
“So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment. … We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.” (President Thomas S. Monson)
We choose “that good part” by making daily choices that lead to eternal life.