Our youngest son, Seth, is 5, and about the only time I've seen him still for more than a minute or two is when he's asleep. He's constantly moving, spinning, jumping, running in circles, doing cartwheels and handstands, or diving off something. Last week, Seth sat on his pillow and flung himself down our stairs, riding the soft cushion like a rollercoaster, down to the first floor. Keeping his attention is nearly impossible. Most often, when I want him to hear me clearly, I have to hold his face in my hands and draw him close. "Listen," I say.

In the account Luke provides of Jesus' visit to Martha and Mary's house (10:38-39), it seems that Jesus needed to hold Martha's face in His hands and say, "Listen, please. Now! Stop and be quiet so you can hear Me and be with Me."

Martha had invited Jesus and His followers into their home, and she began to prepare a meal for them. Preparing dinner for her guests was a good thing. The Hebrew tradition at that time had much to say about welcoming strangers into your home and offering them generous hospitality. However, even good things, at the inappropriate time, become hindrances. In this case, Martha's myopic devotion to her work caused her to miss another opportunity . . . a better opportunity. "Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing," Luke tells us (v.40). Her distraction kept her from "the one thing worth being concerned about," which was listening to Jesus (v.42). For all of us, the one central thing, whether we're working or resting, filled with joy or burdened by sadness, is to hear what Jesus is saying to us. As John Ortberg says, "That one thing is the decision to live so continually in Jesus' presence as to be always covered with the dust of the Rabbi." , Winn Collier, Our Daily Journey

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