Most of us live hurried lives. We are hard pressed at work, at home, and at church to accomplish more than a twenty-four hour day seems to allow. The demands are overwhelming. In fact, full schedules cause many people to depend on a scheduler to stay organized and productive. The scheduler helps busy people plan their day, stay on top of events, boost their productivity, and find more time for family and leisure.
Most importantly a scheduler helps busy people prioritize – weigh the importance of each task for long-term as well as short-term goals. Some things are high on the priority list; other things must wait. Sometimes priorities shift at the last minute to meet highly important and urgent needs; nevertheless, prioritizing is paramount. The account of Mary and Martha is about priorities. Jesus said to Martha, “Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). “But one thing is needful” is a statement that sets priorities. Jesus commended Mary for taking time to sit and listen to Him. Regular listening to Jesus through Bible study is a priority. Another priority set by Jesus is found in Matthew. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (28:19-20).
Sadly, the importance and urgency of missions across the street and around the world are no longer important and urgent priorities in many churches today. Some churches view missions as highly important but not urgent. They invite missionaries who are raising support to visit and present their programs. They express an interest in supporting the missionary but withhold any decision for a year. The missionary cannot advance but is left in a holding pattern. Missions is important but not urgent.
Other churches view missions as urgent but not important. They too invite missionaries to visit and present their programs. They too express an interest in supporting the missionary. They however, provide the missionary fifteen dollars a month support. As gracious as that fifteen dollars might appear, it is not in keeping with today’s cost of living. An urgency exists, but missions is not important.
Many churches need a scheduler. They need help in prioritizing the important and urgent matters. Many people are willing, ready, and waiting to go. They just need a church to send them. Jesus said that He came to this world to seek and to save the lost. When He returned to heaven, He left us with that task. Let us not be Marthas, “troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). Let us be Marys. Let us prioritize and focus on what is important and urgent.