Did you ever hear the story about Mary and Martha? It's in the Bible, Luke 10:38-42. The basic story is that Jesus went to Martha's house, and Martha was very busy preparing a big dinner for him. Her sister Mary, instead of helping Martha, sat at Jesus' feet listening to his teachings, so Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, because it wasn't fair that Martha was doing all the work. But instead of talking to Mary, Jesus spoke to Martha and told her not to worry, and said that Mary was right to sit with him. He said "There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."
I don't know about you, but I've always struggled a little with that story. It doesn't seem right when you look at it, really. I've always identified strongly with Martha. Being busy, and getting frustrated at those who don't help seems to come naturally to me! I always feel like I am busy 'doing'. So when I did a quiz the other day I got a bit of a surprise.
It's part of a bible study that some ladies in our church are doing. I'm not going to the study, but my Mum and sister are, and I was talking to them about it, and they are doing a study on spiritual gifts, and which area people are the strongest in. The idea is you chose words that best describe you, and there are three different sections. One area is God the spirit, which is supposed to represent power, the next is God the Father, which represents wisdom, and the last is God at Calvary, which represents commitment. You end up with a score in each area to show where your heart lies, and where your spiritual gifting is. (I hope that makes sense!) And then you see where you end up, and the idea is that you fall in line with one of six personalities which have bible characters as examples.
So anyway, I did the quiz, and got a surprise to see that my score was highest in the spirit-filled area. And it was really high, like the very highest it could be, which kind of stunned me. I still scored in the other areas, but not very strongly. And the character who was my example is Mary. And I honestly had trouble seeing it.
But then I was talking about it with my Mum and my sister, and I did begin to see. I enjoy worship. Very much. I used to lead worship in our church, but at the moment have stopped for a while because I am just too busy as a Mum. And that is hard for me, because I really do love it. But I'm sure that I'm supposed to put my family first in this season.
I never really saw myself as a sitting-at-Jesus'-feet kind of person. But it's true that I am passionate, and excitable, and I tend to feel strongly about things. I don't have great time management, and am easily caught up in ideas and dreams. The busyness and discipline and hard-working mindset that I have isn't something I have naturally, but something I have learned.
It's funny, I kind of feel a bit like being a Mary isn't great. Like I am just some crazy spirit-filled Christian with not much substance. No wisdom, no commitment. Nice. But then I was thinking... I do have some wisdom, and discipline. Much of it is learned, and has been taught. But I do have some. However, my heart is for worship. For sitting at the Father's feet in awe. When it is important, I know how to drop everything and focus on Him. And that's good.
It's not all good being a Mary though. The danger of being a Mary is that I only do what I like, what comes easily. I am not good at reading my bible. I would much rather do what I want, when I feel like it. I prefer to worship, and pray. However, a lot of that is me communicating with God. Which is fine, but I don't always give God the opportunity to communicate back. I also need to remember that obedience is better than sacrifice.
Anyway, it's given me a lot to think about. I'm going to try to get the book so I can do the study myself. But it's good to take some time every now and then, and find out where you are. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised!
What about you? If you had to pick a bible character you are most like, who would it be?