Crossroads: Being Busy

Luke 10:38-42

Your Story

Talk to your family about a time when you were so busy that you missed something important. What did you miss?

My Story and the Bible Story

I like to be busy. If I’m watching TV or even a movie, I want to also being doing something else so that I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. So when I watch a movie or TV show at home, I also find myself looking at Facebook, my email, or even playing an online game like Candy Crush. And sometimes a few minutes will go by and I realize that I haven’t been paying attention to what I was watching. Something important happened and I missed it because I was too busy.

In the Gospel of Luke, Martha, Lazarus’s sister, is that way too. She likes to be busy and she is a worrier. She’s the one who always wants to make sure everything gets done. Read Luke 10:38-42. From the NIV: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Mary and Martha had Jesus and the disciples over for a meal and there was a lot of work to be done. When people come over to your house, your parents want to make sure everything is clean, which usually means that you get put to work, right? It was the same way for Martha—she wanted to make sure everything was perfect for the Lord and his disciples. But she didn’t get a phone call beforehand. Instead, they were passing through and Martha invited them in. Everything needed to be done while Jesus and the disciples were there. But Mary wasn’t helping! Instead, Martha had to do everything by herself. She was busy and she was missing what Jesus had to say. She got angry and asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her with getting things ready. But then Jesus did something surprising. He told Martha that Mary is doing exactly what she should be doing. Instead of being busy, Mary was listening to Jesus.

That’s a big lesson for us. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to be busy that we miss what Jesus says. We go from school to soccer or tennis practice, to piano lessons, and then it’s back home for a quick dinner and homework and then, all of a sudden, it’s time for bed. All of these are good things, but they are things that can get in the way of listening to Jesus. Does that mean you shouldn’t go to school? Of course not. But it means that we all have to take time in our busy days to stop and pray, asking God to show us what He wants us to do, and then sitting and listening quietly until we have heard from Him. Is this hard when there are so many other things we want to do? Yes, it can be very hard to sit still and listening quietly for God. But if we do, then we will spend our lives doing what God wants us to do. We will discover purpose in our lives. And like Mary, we will be doing the one thing that is needed.

Discussion and Action

• Ask your children to name the things that keep them busy. As a family, talk about ways you can each take time to sit and listen to God.
• Is your family too busy? Take a hard look at your family schedule and see if you need to say no to something so that your family can spend time listening to God. Are there important things your family is missing out on (like family time) because you all are so busy?
• Talk about ways you can build in family time to your schedule (if it’s not already in there) and then work to build it in.


Ask God to help you say no to things that keep you too busy to listen to Him.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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