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Less Stress, More Ferry Time

…So, Martha came to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to prepare the table all by myself? Tell her to help me.” The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.” Luke10:40b-42 CEB

This passage has always been perplexing to me. Because you see I am a male “Martha.” The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 tells of two sisters, Mary and Martha, who have Jesus and a group of friends over one evening. But as Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, listening to his words, Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing a fine meal. Martha tells Jesus to scold Mary for not helping her. Yet Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. Not what Martha wanted to hear. Nor what I would want to hear if I was in her predicament.

The point I think Jesus is trying to make is that there is great wisdom in letting the dishes soak in the sink so we can relax with others in fellowship. But my mind doesn’t seem to work that way sometimes. It whispers to me, “Why are you sitting around ‘chewing the fat’ with someone when you can get a few more things done?” Like the entire universe would implode on itself if I didn’t accomplish that one last task before I go on vacation.

I read an interesting observation in a book recently. It speaks of the “ferry people” in Seattle. They live on Bainbridge Island and the only way to get from downtown Seattle to home is to take the ferry. It’s a short ride, but it is the only ride. So, their lives depend on catching that last ferry out, or they sleep on their office floor. Consequently, whatever they are in the middle of, even if it’s that last “consequential” task, they stop even in mid-email in order to catch the last ferry out.

Maybe we should have a few more “ferry times” in our day. No matter what task we are in the middle of, we come to an abrupt halt. Let it slide. It can wait until tomorrow. Because there are better things in life. There are relationships worth cherishing.


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