Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marthas and Marys...

The passage for the Gospel reading at church today was from Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42.

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one this is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."

I am familiar with this story. It is one of the Bible's most popular stories and you don't need to attend a church regularly to have heard it. It was the focus of the sermons for today. And while the pastor was preaching two thoughts occurred to me with regard to this passage.

1. Eat dessert first. "...chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Don't tell me this doesn't apply to dessert!
2. I am missing important things in Owen's childhood. "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one this is needed."

It a lot of ways a childhood is like sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening. It only lasts for so long. The innocence and and awe. The fascination and amazing observations a child makes. Those don't last a lifetime. The memory of them, the knowledge learned will last but the moments of childhood are fleeting. I think this hit me like a ton of bricks. Especially when the communion distribution started and there was a steady stream of people over 65 going up and down the aisles. Life itself is fleeting. We are here for only a brief amount of time and that time is all we have to enjoy this life and the moments we have in it.

During these "revelations" I realized that I tend to be too much of a Martha and not enough of a Mary. I am so enjoying Owen being 4. He is so clever and funny. He makes me laugh the laughs that feel so good. Just by being who he is. He makes brilliant observations and carries on interesting conversations. He really is a marvelous little boy. And already 4 years have gone by! I've been trying to pay attention. Record the moments and memories, documenting them in my journal to him and in his scrapbook and with countless photographs. I want him to see himself as a child when he is no longer one. In the midst of this, his childhood, I also work and try to run a household and try to run a tiny business and lead a life of my own too. It's a tough balance between Martha and Mary. Owen will not grow up and wonder if the house was always clean. He may have a vague recollection (or not so vague) of me putting things in the their place and trying to keep up our house but his childhood being happy or not does not depend on that. He will however, remember the time we spent together. Or the time not spent together.

Even before Owen was born I knew what I wanted his childhood to be like. Innocent, happy, sheltered, enjoyed, care-free. I've always wanted for him to be able to look back on his childhood and feel like it was good. And remember countless things about it that were good and enjoyable and fun and spent with us. I know I am not a perfect mama and I'm not going to be. I make mistakes and will continue to do so. I acknowledge that. But Owen's childhood happens once and I want him to feel that he was loved and cared for and enjoyed. I wish I could slow it down. That each day would take 48 hours rather than 24. But I won't get that. I want him to stay 4 forever. At least for now. I'm sure in a few years I will tire of wiping his butt! But my point is that the time we have together is moving so fast that if I don't take the time to spend with him, to really enjoy that time, it will be gone and I don't get it back. Ever. So this week I'm going to try harder to add a little more Maryness to my Marthaness. There is always something that needs to get done. Maybe this week those things will lose some of their importance.


Sarah C. said...

Awesome, awesome post! Our sermon was on that same scripture yesterday and I absolutely love your interpretation here [especially the dessert part ;) ]. This fits so true with me today as it is Dylan's first birthday. How in the world did that happen?? I'm trying to hold onto and enjoy each moment. It all goes by too fast. And, you are so right, things like a clean house won't matter, but a happy childhood with time spent with parents - that will. It's so important and something we can't get back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Truly hit home with me today. :)

Janet said...

Great insight, Heather. As a mom of a much older child :) I can assure you that time somehow goes even faster as they grow. It's so important to be "present" in the present and fully treasure the moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!