In the Bible there is a story about two sisters, Mary and Martha, who were visited by Jesus. Luke 10:38-42 tells us that when Jesus arrived, Mary sat attentively listening to Him, while her sister Martha was “distracted” with all the preparations that had to be made.
Jesus questioned her, “Martha, Martha. Why are you worried and upset over so many things? Only few things are needed. Really only one.”
I know many people who are “distracted” over all the preparations that need to be made leading into Christmas. The word distracted in this story is a Greek word, περιεσπᾶτο (periespato). It is the only time the word is used in the entire Bible.
The meaning of the word is “cumbered.” It is where we get our English word encumbered. Picture a rope. It literally means, “To be tangled up.”
As you begin your December are there things that have you tangled up? Distractions that have you worried and upset?
These days it is so easy to lose sight of those few things that are really needed. Instead, we search for the right present, the best party, and the perfect tree. All at the expense of the “few” things.
Our periespato leads to a sense of hurry and scurry, until we reach the end of the season and realize we missed its meaning and its moments.
On this “First Day of Christmas,” take some time and identify what those few things are that need your attention and then seek to eliminate the distractions.
Believe it or not, periespato comes with a cause and effect relationship in your life.
Come back tomorrow and I will explain.
When you think about the upcoming Christmas season, what are the “few” things that need your attention?