The One Thing That’s Needed


Life has a way of keeping us busy. But if we’re not careful, in our busyness we can become distracted from what matters most, ending up worried and troubled about many things.

As I was spending time with the Lord, I was reminded of the importance of spending quality time in with Him, especially during times of busyness. It’s in those times that we tend to get distracted from what matters most.

Most of us know the context of these familiar words of Jesus: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’ ” (Luke 10:41-42, NKJV).

We tend to get on Martha’s case about this, her being worried and troubled and missing out on the one thing that’s needed. But it was in her being busy that she was distracted from what mattered most. Her priorities got out of sequence, thinking that busyness was the answer to her concerns. Many of us find ourselves in the same boat.

Martha’s heart was not to be distracted from the Lord. In fact, the verse that opens this passage states that she “welcomed Him (Jesus) into her house” (v. 38). She invited Him. She wanted fellowship. She was not at all intending to ignore the Lord. She wanted to serve Him.

Life has a way of keeping us busy, even in doing the right things. Yet it was in Martha’s busyness that she was distracted from what matters most.

What was Martha distracted from? Distracted from sitting at the feet at Jesus, hearing His Word. She was serving the Lord, yet she found herself worried and troubled about many things. And notice what she thought was the solution:

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

In other words, Martha thought that the answer to her concerns was more help to continue working. But Jesus said, “One thing is needed,” and it wasn’t more help to keep up with the busyness or the demands. It was spending time at the feet of Jesus, hearing a Word directly from Him.

More often than not, when we find ourselves overwhelmed, busy, stressed and under pressure, our immediate assumption is “Lord, help us keep up.” But Jesus very clearly tells us that only one thing is needed to ease our concerns and worries, and it isn’t to stay busy and work harder. In fact, it’s pressing pause on the busyness of life to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear a word directly from Him.

Without spending quality time with Jesus and hearing His word, our perpetual state of busyness will end up leading us toward worry, trouble and eventually burnout. Whenever we are overwhelmed or under pressure, even while serving the Lord, we need to sit at the feet of Jesus and receive something from Him.

Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

Only one thing is needed. Come to Jesus.