Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
TITLE: Important vs. Necessary
By Edmond Ng
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But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42 NAS)A few years ago, my wife and I were in a cab on the way to the airport for our planned holiday trip when I suddenly realized I have forgotten to bring our travel papers. Without a choice then, I told the driver to send us back to where we came from.
Many of us, like me, may tend to forget what is most important when we get too caught up in our planning and preparing for an event. When we plan to travel abroad, for example, we know what is most important is our travel documents. Without our passports, tickets and immigration papers, everything else we do in preparing for our travel is in vain. This, of course, does not mean we need not prepare whatever is necessary, but rather it means we need to know our priorities and what is most important.
As Christians, we have been called to prepare the way for our Lord’s return. Some of us may have labored hard to prepare the way by planning and organizing evangelistic events, by involving ourselves in many Christian activities, and by performing all the things necessary to ensure the smooth running of the greatest upcoming event on earth. All these are worthy and good, but sometimes we may become too caught up with these activities which are necessary, that we neglect what is most important--Jesus.
Busying ourselves to ensure the world is ready for our Lord’s return is perfectly fine. However, if like Martha we become too distracted with all the preparations or too worried and bothered by the many things that need to be done, to the point of failing to see the good part and the one thing that is really necessary (Luke 10:38-42), then all our efforts would have been in vain. Just as without our passports we cannot travel abroad, so it is the same for us if we do not have Christ as the center of our lives. Everything we do in preparing for His return would have been in vain. We should therefore learn from Mary to set our priorities right by choosing the good part to sit at Jesus’ feet, to put Him first in everything (Luke 10:38-42). If we, after busying ourselves with the necessary, discover we have left our first love for God, we must then remember where we have fallen, repent, and do the deeds we have done at first (Revelation 2:4-5), that we may rediscover our first love.
Forgive us dear Lord for sometimes failing to put You first in all we do, and for failing at times to set our priorities right. Help us always to be mindful Lord to focus on what is the most important even while busying ourselves with the necessary. Be the center of our lives Lord, that all we do may not be in vain, for we know O Lord that without You, we can accomplish nothing worthy of claim.
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