It is important when we reflect upon this story of Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha that we remember to place it in context. Jesus is not telling us that serving a visitor in one’s home is a bad thing to do. He is simply saying that there is a time to serve and a time to just sit and reflect upon life. We need to find the right balance between the two! I think we all know at least one person who tends to hide behind busyness in order to avoid having to relate to the people in his or her life. This is what Jesus is addressing. We must find time in our lives to serve those around us; we must also find the time to simply be with them and to enjoy one another’s company. This is the essence of human relationships.

We live in a world that rewards activism and industriousness to the point that we tend to forget about the need for silence. I was reading a book the other day and one of the points it was making is that, generally speaking, people today lack silence in their lives and thus are unable to reflect upon the meaning of life properly. Socrates reminded us 2500 years ago that lack of reflection in our lives is death to the human spirit.

It is important for us to serve; it is just as important to reflect upon our lives and give God the opportunity to speak into our hearts and give us direction for our lives. If we fail to do this we will come to the end of our lives and we will wonder what it is was all for; what have we achieved; what difference has our lives made? The presence or non-presence of reflection in our lives is ultimately a matter of life and death! If you want to give meaning to your life, you will have to be willing to spend large portions of your time in reflection! Monks in contemplative monasteries spend about 30% of their time in prayerful reflection? Maybe we cannot spend that much time, but we must spend a significany amount of time or our lives will simply pass us by as one thing or event following another with very little true human meaning attached to many, if any of them!

How much time in a week/month do I set aside for reflection? The Scriptures tells us one day a week should be set aside for honouring the Lord and such matters.

Jesus, help me to choose wisely in the way I allocate my time to the various demands upon my life. Help me to reflect more upon the meaning of my life.