Is there that person in your life, whose life experience you wish you were living? I have felt that so often, watching someone’s life and asking: “Now why can’t that be me?” Social media I feel, has contributed to this feeling, an evening on Facebook or Instagram can have you longing for a life that is much more exciting and different to what you are living now. 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, watches her and says to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.”
I totally understand that feeling and can identify with 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 to have Jesus and the disciples over for dinner. She is in the kitchen, sweat pouring, feeling harried and her sister Mary, is sitting at the feet of Jesus … listening.
Our first thought when someone else seems to have a blessed life, is to assume that they have some special relationship with Jesus that you do not have and immediately the question jumps up in your mind: “Now why doesn’t God allow that for me?” As she dwells on this, she moves to the next through process and 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 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 You favor her.
Martha wants “what she’s having.”
For me Mary is what I would call, “the woman in the other lane.” Picture this, 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. Her social media feed is the one that keeps you up at night.
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. They are successful, positive, forward moving people. 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. First of all, it seems easier than yours and secondly, 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. 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.
“… 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.” (Heb 12:1)
God asks you to run your own race (Heb 12:1). The Lord 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 has plans for us (Jer 29:11) 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.
Jesus points out to Martha in Luke 10:41-42: that Mary has chosen the role that she would play that night; and Martha hers: “you are worried and upset about many things” and Mary has “chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In others words: “Martha, stop running Mary’s race, choose the race that you will run.”
Each of us will choose the path we are living in life. Martha has chosen to be in the kitchen as she felt led. We are exactly where we have chosen to be and the Lord knows exactly where we are. We 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 your life. It is a decision to trust that race, where God is leading you right now, for it is exactly where God plans for you to be and He will fulfill His plans and His purposes in our life. (Jer 29:11). Right now, the race may feel like an uphill marathon, but God knows exactly what is coming up and you can trust Him with that.
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, or question Your path for me, 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.