Today is February 29! It’s just what I’ve been longing for – extra time. Maybe the day still has only 24 hours, and maybe the week still has only 7 days, but by golly, this year has a extra day in it. What a gift!
I’m torn between two options for today. I could use it to get extra things done. Or I could use it as day of rest and reflection. Is it a Mary or a Martha day?
For those unfamiliar with that last reference, there is a story in the Bible of Jesus visiting the home of sisters Mary and Martha. While Martha busied herself cleaning and preparing food, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to his teaching. When Martha complained that Mary was not helping her, Jesus defended Mary’s choice.
This is a difficult story for many, especially women. After all, someone had to get food ready. Someone had to be sure that guests were comfortable and cared for. Was Martha wrong?
I don’t think it is a story about the right choice or the wrong choice. I think it is a story about the different ways we are mindful, the different ways we show devotion, the different ways we are present.
So what does that mean for me today? How will I use this free day? Maybe I’ll be a little bit Mary and a little bit Martha. But whatever I choose, I will be grateful for the gift of this day.
What will you do with this free day?
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
A Free Day!
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Nice to share this story from the Bible with us. Along the years I realized there were many way to worship God, it could be by listening to his teachings, praying as well as doing the daily chores, doing the job we have to do or taking care of others.ReplyDelete
May you have a lovely day Galen Pearl whatever you decide to do.
The day comes to an end here, tonight I think I will relax and enjoy some time with my husband who will soon leave for work.
Marie, I laughed when I read your comment because even though I try to be sensitive to my readers from other countries and cultures, I still forget sometimes about time zones! I hope your evening went well. My day is going well, even though it's a gray and rainy typical Oregon winter day. I just got back from going to an extra taekwondo class, always a fun way to spend some free time!Delete
Wouldn't you hate it if you found out that the guy who came to visit was Jesus---and that while your entire family sat down and chatted with Him, you spent the time cleaning house?ReplyDelete
There is a lot of that going on, you know...
Clint, I understand your point, and I think that was Jesus's point as well. However, I have always felt sympathy for Martha, who knew full well who Jesus was. While others listened, she felt responsible for seeing to his comfort and sustenance. Any activity can be a spiritual practice if done with devotion. For example, in a different story, a woman was praised for washing Jesus's feet. I wonder if Jesus was chiding Martha for fretting over her tasks rather than for the tasks themselves. After all, those who "pray without ceasing" still have to do the laundry! Had she been doing the tasks with joy and devotion, would he have said the same thing? Well, probably not, because in that case, she wouldn't have been complaining about Mary!Delete
I suppose the men in the Bible had to choose between hunting for the food that the women cleaned and prepared and sitting at His feet?ReplyDelete
Haaaa… couldn't resist. I dunno leap year - an extra day? I guess so. If you got paid weekly and paid on Wednesdays… you'd have an extra Wednesday…. that's a good thing.
But since I'm paid once a month … makes no difference and husband is paid weekly on Fridays… makes no difference.
Just another day, to me. I've tried to subscribe to the --- live every day as though it's your last and/or this is the first day of the rest of your life.
I just want to remain thankful … and grateful.
but then that's my job
Carolyn, So true. For most of us, today is just another work day or school day. But still, there is something special about a day that isn't usually here!Delete
I was at work and got the crap martha'ed out of me!ReplyDelete
CW, Oh dear. Sounds like this extra day was not a bonus for you. Hope tomorrow is better.Delete
The Martha vs. Mary dilemma, always a hard one for me!ReplyDelete
Carrie, Yes, me too. But as I said to Clint above, I think if we view all our activities as sacred, then we are never separated from the divine. At least that's a way for me to reconcile the two.Delete
Unfortunately, work did not allow to give me the option...for any free time...but having work is good...and once the work day is over....well you have some time before it all begins again tomorrow, right! Happy Leap Day! ;)ReplyDelete
Karen, True, this was a regular work day or school day for most of us. So maybe think of it as an extra evening in the year!Delete
I have toiled with question myself. I have read "Having a Mary heart in a Martha World" and I realised how important this passage of the New Testament is, and how relevant to our lives. It speaks of the balance we so much strive to find in our lives and often rarely do. And this passage is the answer, and a God-given one. How great is that!ReplyDelete
Irene, There are so many ways to understand this story, aren't there? Your focus on balance seems to be the key. Surely Jesus didn't mean that we can ignore the need to prepare food and clean up. But we don't have to fret over all the little things at the expense of the miracles in our lives.Delete
Wonderful post Galen - as usual - I always find comfort when I come to your blog site.ReplyDelete
I love the story of Martha and Mary - I am reading this on 3/1/12 - so yesterday I got a facial for myself mid day - I listened to Maureen Simon's webinar on Women and their Feminine Power and in the evening I went to Pilates....after Pilates with my girlfriend - we went and had Maragaritas and celebrated our extra day and life!
So cheers to the extra day - I am grateful,
Nancy, Nice use of your extra day! Beauty, education, exercise, and drinks!Delete
Nice thoughts - I used it as a day just to do my own thing - I spent a lot of time watching the snow and rain fallReplyDelete
I realized how tired I am of volunteering so much of my time and how much of my self I have given way - especially my professional skills. I was proud of my endeavors, but today and at this point in my life I truly want to being doing something for me...I wished for a massage for awhile...I did not write or read.
Then I found the 2 missing videos of a British History Series I had watched a year ago - missing pieces fell into place and the story ended.
It was one of my favorite days I have yet experienced and all in all I accomplished almost nothing...
A gift day nice way to think about it
Patricia, Isn't it wonderful to get to the end of the day and think of it as a favorite day?! Now lovely.Delete
Of my gosh, I should have looked at this as an extra day. I am afraid I wasted it. I loved the idea and I really love the story of Martha and Mary. This story teaches many lessons. I just hope to make better use of my time and do the important things first.ReplyDelete
Blessings for a delightful read!
Now how could Jesus just sit there chatting to Mary when Martha was left slaving away? [grin] If he had been truly a new age sensitive kinda guy he would have grabbed the mop and administered [while] he worked alongside the both of them LOL Great analogy though... and I do get it. I have often put aside important things to attend to mundane detail. But what I'm noticing is... it's the detail that makes my life rich and I have so much more now to bring. So I guess nothing is ever for nothing. Every experience brings with it some benefit [no matter how apparently burdensome mundane or trivial] Wonderful post Galen... you always make me think. Thank you :-)ReplyDelete