Mary and Martha
In the daily walk of the Christian we find two strains: the contemplative—study, prayer, meditation—and the active—service, charity and good works. The works are visible, and it is easy to neglect the contemplative for the active. But if you must choose, choose the contemplative—for this is the best. "One thing is needed," says our Lord.
That one thing is this: to sit at Jesus' feet. All else flows from our personal devotion to him. The gesture itself means so much:
It is the gesture of submission, the gesture that says, "I am the student, you are the Master." To be in submission is to completely recognize, acknowledge and follow the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is to be obedient to his commands. In this there is life.
It is the gesture of faith, for it acknowledges the Teacher as the one whose very presence puts aside all other duties. Who has the words of life, but Jesus? Who else ever claimed the power to put on hold the religious duties of the day—just because He had arrived? To sit at his feet is to acknowledge this—the faith.
Do you sit at his feet merely to decorate? No—you sit to learn. Therefore you think learning of him a good thing. If a good thing, then share it with your neighbors—make disciples of all nations!
What, sitting at his feet implies service? Yes indeed, for faith without works is dead. "The sons of Mary lay their troubles on the Lord," said Kipling, "and the Lord, He lays them on the sons of Martha." Pick up your share of the load.
Is there any position which a woman can assume which more completely says, "adoration," than to sit at a man's feet? It says, "Just to be with you is joy." It is a gesture of true love, and it is the gesture that the Christian should run to make.
Christian, does your life in the faith seem dull and scratchy? Perhaps it is because, like Martha, you are trying to work when you should be at his feet. Do you study? Meditate on his word? Seek his face in prayer? Add to your habits the gesture of submission, faith, discipleship, service and love—sit at his feet. In your mind place yourself there; it is the one thing needed.