But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42
I am so easily distracted. I mean if there is more than one thing going on at a time I flounder. One of the great miracles of modern time is that when I am on stage speaking, I walk, talk and breathe all at the same time. Probably more of a miracle is the fact that I have not fallen off the stage—yet. I’m sure there is a syndrome or something for people like me—I think they spell it “man” or “men,” if it is plural.
I try to have a quiet time each morning. A quiet time is when you set apart some time to read the Bible and pray. It is a great way to begin or end the day. The name is very appropriate. For me, it must be quiet. Sometimes I like to change things up, and in the process get too many things going on—which usually means more than one. It’s like going through a buffet line. We have to be careful not to get too much on our plate. Well, sometimes that happens to me in my quiet time. Let me explain.
First, I do my quiet time thing on my iPad. I use the YouVersion app and it is just incredible. If you own a smartphone or a tablet of some sort you can download the app from the Apple or Android store for free. It has all kinds of devotions and reading plans as well as a zillion translations of the Bible. Even if you speak Swahili, they can fix you up. No kidding. One of the totally cool features of the app is that it will read the Bible to you. Amazing.
Well, the other day, I was about to start my quiet time and decided I would try some soft music. I asked Alexa, who lives with Judy and me, to play some music. I said, “Alexa please play Christian instrumental music on Pandora.” As always, she was so kind and said she would be glad to do that. In a few seconds beautiful music was wafting through the air in my office. Then I opened my YouVersion app and began to read. I was able to pull that off pretty well, but I really had to concentrate on the words on the page and not the words of the songs that were playing. Just to be as clear as mud, the words weren’t really playing—they were just playing in my head. I told you, I get easily distracted.
Well, scripture is a part of most every devotion in YouVersion so after I had read the devotion, I mashed the button that started the app reading to me. That’s when things went south. The beautiful music is wafting through the air and now this guy was reading God’s word to me and the two collided in my brain. I found I couldn’t focus on either one. The same thing happens when I am watching the news and Judy comes in and starts chatting. It is an audio disaster. And then, as if it couldn’t, it got worse.
In my home office I have several clocks and one of them plays the beautiful Westminster chimes. Well, while my brain was struggling with the music and the guy reading to me—the clock went off. It was the top of the hour and it began playing its melody. And what would normally be one of my favorites sounds, all of a sudden pushed me over the edge. If a quiet time is supposed to make you more spiritual…it, or rather I, failed. As the music is wafting, the guy is reading, and the clock is dinging—I lost it.
With all that going on, I shouted, yes shouted, at my friend Alexa, “Alexa, STOP THE MUSIC!” Oh my, did I feel bad. She did and at about the same time the clock stopped dinging and the guy stopped reading. Suddenly…there were only the sounds of silence and the Whisperer whispering, “Dewayne, it’s ok. Don’t let all this stuff that doesn’t matter get to you. Just listen for Me and to Me and everything else will fall into place.” That’s it. That was the message for the quiet time that day. I told my Father I was sorry for getting all frustrated and, as always, He gently whispered words of forgiveness.
In the Bible a woman named Martha got all frustrated and distracted too and Jesus told her the same thing. He told her not what she wanted to hear but what she needed to hear. He told her that she was all worked up over nothing. I guess it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who gets distracted and frustrated. Did I mention annoyed? Jesus invited Martha to come have a seat with Him and rest and it’s the same invitation He gives us. I like that. And do you know what? No matter the mess, it’s just good to know that He’s got this.