For Lent this year, I'm saying a rosary each day for one (or more) of my friends, and keeping them in my thoughts and prayers throughout the day. I'm really loving it! I feel like, for the first time in several years, I'm actually doing something for Lent. And I could/should talk more about that, but that's not what prompted me to post today.
The issue I've been having is that in order to get my rosary in each day, sometimes I need to multi-task and do something else at the same time. Not something that requires any mental work, but some mindless physical stuff. Washing dishes, folding laundry, using the treadmill, etc. But rather than being pleased that I'm saying the rosary, I've been feeling guilty that I can't sit still (or kneel!) and just. pray.
I've had a lifelong interest in/struggle with the whole Martha/Mary scenario. I've always been a Martha and always felt that I should be more of a Mary. I can be contemplative, I can sit still, I can pray. But shit needs to get done, and someone needs to do it. A lot of the time, that someone is me.
Recently - within the last year - it dawned on me that Martha became a saint, too. Ah ha!!! I started feeling better about being so busy; about being so "anxious and troubled about many things" (Luke 10:41). Ok, so it is better to be sitting at the feet of Jesus, prayerfully conversing with him, turning our minds to higher matters. But Martha became a saint, too! I thought: she must have done something right! Right??
Well, tonight I had a new revelation. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better portion and it wouldn't be taken from her. He did not, however, tell Martha to be another Mary. And I think this is how Martha became a saint. She did what she was supposed to do. She stopped worrying about what Mary was or wasn't doing; she stopped looking outward to see how other people were serving our Lord. As I'm fond of bringing up: she kept her eyes on her own work.
God calls us to know, love, and serve Him, but only as each of us can serve Him.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
~ 1 Corinthians 12:14-19
So, I've decided I don't need to become Mary. Or Martha. I need to be me. I need to become the best possible version of me. I need to be who God made me to be. When I'm required to behave as Mary did, I should do that. When I'm required to behave as Martha did, I should do that. But I'm going to have to do everything as me, because that's who God chose for the job.
And to realize I'm already fully qualified is quite a relief.