Have you ever bypassed a gas station only to find yourself driving down a highway on fumes? It sure sucks the fun out of a car trip.
Jesus’ friend Martha once had a similar moment. She had her pedal to the metal in the kitchen. Her sister, Mary, was lounging at Jesus’ feet. It wasn’t fair. Martha was trying to make a yummy supper for Jesus. But she was driving down the highway with her gas gauge pointing to E. Her mistake, as someone once said, was “thinking she was the host and Jesus the guest.” Martha needed to be filled up by Jesus before she could serve.
We’ve all had Martha moments. We want to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen, but there’s all this stuff to do! We take on a task only to sputter and stall. We’re overwhelmed. Tense. Angry. We scold Jesus: Don’t you care about my many duties? How can I possibly find time to listen to you?
Jesus gently rebuked Martha (and us). Not for serving him, but for foolishly trying to serve him on an empty tank. Jesus told Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41,42).
We are Jesus’ guests, and he’s giving away fuel: Forgiveness. Peace. Patience. Joy. Take time to fill your tank. Then, strengthened, go and serve.