This pondering brought me on a journey back through time to my eighth grade graduation. The Christian school I attended had a tradition of matching a Biblical figure to each student. They called my name. “Maya Wright.” I proudly stood up, awaiting the results, crossing my fingers I was going to be Esther, Ruth, or Mary. “Maya Wright. The Martha award.” “Martha?” I thought, thoroughly disappointed as I crossed the stage to receive my middle school diploma.
It's comfortable to identify ourselves with the ‘good people’ in the Bible. But what does it mean to identify ourselves with the flawed figures? As humans, we’re not perfect. Maybe you’re like Jonah, suffocated and swallowed up by problems in life, running from God. Maybe you’re like the apostle Peter, denying your relationship with Jesus to fit in when you’re in the presence of non-believers. I don’t think it's shameful to identify with the flawed figures of the Bible. I think it's honest. And once we allow ourselves to acknowledge our weaknesses, we can study the trajectory of that Biblical figure in order to make better informed decisions in our own lives.
Maybe you’re like me, and deserve the Martha award. Luke 10:39-42 says, “Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.'
In the midst of the 2020 quarantine, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my Martha-like tendencies. At any given moment, I have a million thoughts running through my head. However, now, without the hustle and bustle of regular life, I’ve been able to slow down and work on growing closer to God. Mary took the time to put everything aside and just listen to Jesus, which was a great demonstration of her faith. And I know it won’t be easy, but as life begins to return to normal again, I will remember to learn from Martha and strive to achieve the Mary award, instead.
This piece was written for the SNEUCC Young Voices Project
Maya Wright, of Riverside, RI is a sophomore at Lesley University, double majoring in Art Therapy and Spanish. She is a member of Seekonk Congregational Church in Seekonk, MA, with which she attended the UCC National Youth Event 2016 in Orlando, FL. ...