Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lent '09 - Day 10: Responsibility System

If there are things to do or responsibilities to take care, I feel the burden to take care of them. I expect the same of others. My thinking is, "Let's work, and when we get the work done, we can relax." Personality differences cause people to approach work and responsibility differently, and while I can't say my way is right, I don't think it's wrong. That said, there's an important exception to make, which Jesus reveals when mediating between Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.

Martha is definitely responsibility minded, and the todo list for things to take care of with Jesus and his cohorts in town are on her mind. "I'll enjoy and learn from Jesus after all this work gets done!" Mary, Martha's sister, doesn't have the same responsibility sentiment, and instead spends time with Jesus before the work gets done. This peeves Martha, who was probably fuming inside for some time before she finally blurted, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" I know I would have had the same exasperation. Jesus' response is very important for us responsibility-minded folk:
Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chose what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
Jesus understands Martha's feelings, but the sense of urgency Martha feels from responsibility is off base. The literal transalation of the Spanish rendering of this response from Jesus is, "Marth has chosen best, and nobody will take it from her". Despite Martha's plea, Jesus himself will not tell Mary to get in the kitchen and help with the tasks at hand.

For those of us who feel responsibility's weight, we must be willing to make exceptions for other people and ourselves. While playing video games should probably not fly as an excuse to get out of work, feasting on Christ and expanding the Kingdom should.

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