Any woman who has been a Christian for some length of time knows the story of Mary and Martha. The one where Jesus came to their house and Martha was busy doing what we women do when we have guests in our home--trying to get a meal on the table and take care of everyone's needs. Her lazy, good for nothing sister, (This is a come to Jesus moment. Ladies, if you have a sister, you KNOW this is what Martha was thinking.) was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to him talk, not doing her fair share of the work.
Or was she? The picture that always comes to mind when thinking of this story is that "the good portion" was the part where Mary was sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus. I would like to submit that the CHOICE to listen was the good portion.
Today, I had a choice. A dear friend of mine who recently lost her young adult son is in town for the first time since the accident. I had made tentative plans to spend the day with her. However, when I tried to call her to set a meeting time, her phone was acting up. In the interim, I asked my son, who will be a senior in high school next year, ,i>(Momma translation: this is his last real summer at home, my baby boy is growing up and leaving my nest, I must cherish and cling to every moment.) if he would like to go get lunch then go bowling together. He happily said, "Yes," and threw an additional activity of checking out a new store into the pot.
This is momma. See momma fist pump.
Not five minutes later, my friend called me back. People-pleasing women everywhere, you KNOW I had a choice to make. My friend needed me. I promised her that whatever she needed, whenever she needed it, I would be there. But my son. MY SON! I had made plans (Teenager translation: a binding promise to spare him the burden of yet another boring summer day, and, of course, one-on-one time with the best mom in the world. Hey, who is writing this, anyway? Don't judge me.)
I screwed my courage to the sticking place and told her, without apology, (yes, that is important) that I had plans with my son and couldn't meet up with her until much later in the day. Lo and behold, there was no thunder or lightning. The earth did not stop in its rotational movement. My friend said that would be fine. I hung up the phone and gave myself a high five. Then I heard a still, small voice, "She has chosen the good portion."
Wait, what? I wasn't sitting having some deep Bible devotional quiet time. I chose my son and our relationship. I did not put him off or try to explain why he was less important to me. I chose the good portion. These days are fleeting. The days of sitting in the rocker with this boy on my lap are long gone. The days when he brings me bugs with a sweaty smile are in the past. These days it is stolen moments between basketball games, dates with girls and long work nights. I cannot dwell in the past and wish those days back. I must forge new memories and cling to the special moments I can.
The good portion. Time with my oldest son. Moments of laughter. Deep conversations. You know, sitting at the feet of Jesus, lapping up every blessing he sends my way.