Recently I watched the 1989 movie ‘When Harry met Sally’ with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan and giggled anew at that famous scene where she fakes an orgasm in the middle of the restaurant. The lady at a table nearby says to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.”
How often do we go through life, looking at another woman’s life and saying “I’ll have what she’s having,” in our prayers?
In the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-41, don’t you just feel for Martha? She opened her home, prepared the food, made all the necessary preparations and yet we know that she would like to be Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus … listening.
So much so, that she complains to the Lord: “Lord, don’t you care?” Don’t you care that my sister is not doing what I am doing, this stuff that is not fun, or pleasant, I feel that you favor her and that I am missing out. Don’t you care that she is getting all the best stuff and I am not. It’s not fair that she gets from you. Lord make Mary do it too.
Martha wants “what she’s having.”
For me Mary is what I would call, “the woman in the other lane.” You are running your life in the lane next to her: in the school car park; at gym; at work; at church, in the same community or circle of people. She is running in the lane next to you, and she’s got the life, the car, the body, the well behaved children, the attentive husband etc. She has got the spiritual walk that you desire, the hotline to God, the insight into her life. She has got the life where the prince has already come and she is living happy ever after.
You covet her life!! You wish that you could run the race in her lane, it seems easier than yours and so much nicer. You wish that you could just cut in on her lane and “have what she having.”
But that is not your life. She has her life and you have yours. What happens in her life is not what God has got planned for you. He doesn’t want her plans for you, because they are the best plans for her, but not the best plans for you.
God doesn’t ask you to run her race, he asks you to run your race (Heb 12:1) “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Jesus has an individual race “marked out” for each of us before we were born, the race you were designed for. (Ps 139:13-16). He says in Isaiah 43:1, that we must, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you: I have summoned you by name, You are mine.”
He’s got your number, He knows who you are, He knows what is happening in your life. He knows the life he has planned specifically for you.
As he points out to Marthe in Luke 10:41-42: she has chosen the role that she would play that night; “you are worried and upset about many things” and that Mary has “chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Marthe, stop running Mary’s race, choose the race that you will run.
Each of us must choose to run the race that the Lord Himself has marked out for us. Live your life according to His design, live with His directions to the race and trust the Lord for what that life will be about, His plans and His purposes. (Jer 29:11).
Father thank you that you have designed a life race just for me which takes account how you designed me and the purposes You have planned for my life. Help me not to covet the life of others, but to trust that I am exactly where you want me and that you are working in my life. Help me to run my own race for your glory.
If you enjoyed this post, also read: