There is an ancient sacred story told of two sisters – Mary and Martha. It goes as follows:
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But Jesus said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I can hear Martha’s voice yet today and now, speaking directly to me – maybe even to you.
“So desperately I wanted to sit and listen at Wisdom’s feet as she did; to play and dance and dream. Everything in me wanted to run free and speak up and laugh endlessly. My very cells were shouting. My body was all but moving. And I knew that if I let go, I would propel myself forward with force beyond imagining. But I held back. Worse, I critiqued her.
“You know this scene, don’t you? Like me, you’re standing in the kitchen, seeing all the “work” that needs to be done, and keeping yourself from all that you long for, the person you most want to be.
“You hear the same voice, don’t you? ‘Dear Martha, you are worried about many things. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’”
“No shame. No scolding. Just invitation. Listen:
“Dear One, you are worried about many things. Choose the better part and it will not be taken from you.”
The better part. Playing. Dancing. Dreaming. Reflecting. Listening. Sitting at the feet of Wisdom.
The better part. Loving yourself. Seeing your beauty. Writing with abandon. Loving with passion. Letting effort go. Letting tasks go. Letting fear go. Letting restraint go. Letting decorum go. And going forth. From the kitchen and into your world. From the trap of responsibility and must-do’s and duty to a place of freedom and creativity and love.
The better part. Not a call to obedience or doctrinal adherence. No, this is a call to trust a Wisdom that is older than time. This is a call to trusting your wisdom, your knowing, yourself.
The better part. It will not be taken from you.
“Get out of that kitchen. It is not the place you are destined to stay.”
May it be so for me – and maybe even for you.