What Is Really Needful
All of us seem to revel in the fact that we are "so busy". There are so many things to do, so many responsibilities that pull us for our time. Technology was supposed to simplify our lives but it seems to have made are lives more crowded. As soon as we seem to invent a system to simplify one task, another responsibility moves in to take control of whatever time we have saved. It may be true that we get more things done by making more efficient use of our time, but it may also mean that as our lives become more full, more complex, more detailed some of the more important aspects of living receive less attention or are forgotten altogether.
How many times have we justified the time we spend away from families, justified the neglect families suffer because of careers, pleasures, or other distractions? "I'm doing these things for you" neglected families are often told. And, while that may be partly true, it does not make the neglect any less real. A boy once received such an explanation from his father, who never had time to play ball with him. The boy said, "The trouble; dad, is that I'm not in your book". "Book", said the father, "what book"?
"You know", the boy replied, "the book you write your appointments in, the one where you keep track of meetings with important people. "I'm not in there!"
Jesus spoke about these things, the problem of mismanaged priorities. The occasion was when he visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. While Mary set at the feet of Jesus, learning of salvation, Martha worked the kitchen and was very annoyed that Mary did not help her. Finally, Martha complained to Jesus who answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things; but only one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42
Too often, we do not recognize that which is "needful", what is most full of need. Too often, perhaps, we allow what is important in our lives to be displaced by the details and activity that we think we're "doing for the family." Someone needs to do the dishes; the details must be taken care of. but sometimes the details can wait so that a father will have time to play ball with his son, so that a mother will have time to talk to her daughter, so that what is most important receives the most attention in our lives.
Pastor Hans Lillejord