This past Sunday, I began my sermon by sharing how I recently lost my wedding ring. While playing outside with the kids on a cold evening, my ring slipped off my finger and landed in parts unknown. Sadly, the continuation of my saga hasn’t gotten any better. On Monday, while using the metal detector I borrowed from a friend, the only thing that my search produced was a concussion when I walked straight into a wooden shelf. No ring, and a bad headache. Not my proudest moment.
I really hope to find my ring soon, and not just because I want to avoid my wife’s wrath (no, she’s not the real cause of the bruise on my head no matter what anyone is saying!) I want it found because that small circle of gold which has been on my finger for the past 15 years has become an indelible part of who I am. What at first felt awkward to wear has become so natural and commonplace that its absence is now remarkably noticeable.
In the last few days it has dawned on me that I’ve been taking the presence of my ring for granted. What I mean is that over the years, I’ve developed the assumption that it would always be there. Now that it is gone, I constantly catch myself absentmindedly rubbing the spot where it should be. It’s taken losing it to be reminded of just how important it was to me.
This drama over my ring has had me thinking a lot about the Bible passage in Luke 10 where Mary and Martha both had the chance to enjoy the presence of Jesus, but only Mary chose to do so. Take a moment to read the verses for yourself.
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 few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42, NIV)
I don’t believe that Mary loved Jesus more than Martha but one thing was obvious; she wasn’t going to take the presence of Jesus for granted. Not only was Martha distracted by all the things to be done, but those distractions kept her from considering that she might not always have this opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus.
I hate to state the obvious but the status of your relationships that seem so solid today aren’t guaranteed to stay the same tomorrow. Children grow up and start their own families, friends move to new places and form other relationships, and loved ones inevitably grow old and pass away Even Jesus had a limited amount of time on earth to physically be in the presence of his family, friends, and followers.
I bring all these thoughts to bear in order to ask you one simple question. Are you taking the time to properly value the relationships God has given you today? Don’t take your loved ones, or even the relationship you have with your Heavenly Father, for granted. Put down the distractions, forget about all things you think need to get done, and take advantage of the moment you have right now to enjoy the presence of God and the people He has placed in your life.